December 01, 2013 | By a Minghui correspondent from Shanxi Province, China
(Minghui.org) A designer from the China Petrochemical Corporation was tried for the third time by the Wenshui County Court in Shanxi Province on November 12, 2013.
Mr. Qiao Jianjun, in his 30s, was handcuffed and shackled when he entered the courtroom. His lawyer requested that the handcuffs and shackles be removed, according to the new law that forbids the use of handcuffs during a trial. A bailiff then removed Mr. Qiao’s handcuffs. Mr. Qiao immediately took off his yellow vest, a prisoner’s uniform.
Mr. Qiao’s lawyer stated that practicing Falun Gong is legal based on the existing Chinese law, and that Mr. Qiao had not violated any law by distributing DVDs with information about Falun Gong.
The “evidence” presented by the prosecution consisted of photos of the DVDs with a witness’s signature. Since neither the actual items nor the witness were present at the trial, the lawyer argued that the evidence was inadmissible and Mr. Qiao was wrongfully charged.
Mr. Qiao denied all of the charges against him. He asked to be acquitted and refused to sign the trial record. He also refused to return to the detention center.
His family attended the trial and accused the judge of miscarriage of justice. The police quickly took Mr. Qiao away.
Mr. Qiao is from Shandong Province. He was arrested on July 15, 2012, while distributing Shen Yun Performing Arts DVDs in Wenshui County. He has been illegally detained in the county detention center ever since.
Wenshui County Procuratorate charged him for having the DVDs in his possession and demanded that he be sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The Wenshui County Court tried Mr. Qiao in November 2012 and sentenced him to 3.5 years in prison. The Wenshui County Procuratorate considered the penalty too light and appealed to have the sentence increased to 7 years.
The Luliang City Intermediate Court tried Mr. Qiao again on May 31, 2013, returning the case to the Wenshui County Court in August due to lack of evidence and unclear facts.
Guo Zongyao, head of the Trial Supervision Tribunal of the Wenshui County Court, is now handling the case.
Mr. Qiao’s father, Mr. Qiao Fangtian, was arrested and detained when he delivered letters to the officials of the Wenshui Court, Procuratorate, and police department on October 28, 2013, to appeal for his son’s release.
Court Rejects Case Against Mr. Qiao Jianjun for Third Time Due to Lack of Evidence Yet He is Still in Custody After One Year
Prosecutor Attempts to Increase Practitioner’s Illegal Sentence
Category: Accounts of Persecution