January 10, 2014 | By a Minghui correspondent from Guangdong Province, China
(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioners Ms. Wu Youqing, Ms. Li Qiao, and Ms. Hu Xiuhui from Guangdong Province were illegally sentenced in Xinyi City Court on December 16, 2013. A family member warned the presiding judge the next day that he would be held responsible for the sentences because it was his signature on the official documents. All three practitioners have appealed to a higher court.
Ms. Wu, 46, and Ms. Li, 42, were each sentenced to four years in prison, and Ms. Hu, 52, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison. Procurator Yang Longbang of the Xinyi Procuratorate, presiding judge Xu Yiwen, judge Cai Biaorong, judge Lin Bohai, and clerk Xu Xiaoming of the Xinyi Court participated in the trial.
One of Ms. Wu’s family members called presiding judge Xu Yiwen on December 17, 2013, and asked him, “Was the sentence your decision or was it set by the Judicial Committee or the Political and Legal Affairs Committee?” The judge responded, “I am in no position to make the decision. The case was reviewed by the Judicial Committee and went through two different levels of the court system.” The relative said, “It is your signature on the official sentencing document. You will be the one held responsible for their sentences.”
Ms. Wu’s relative expressed his intention to appeal the sentence on the grounds of misapplication of the law. The judge said that if there was a mistake made during the trial, the decision would be overruled by a higher court.
Family Members Threatened for Appealing
Ms. Wu’s relative got a phone call before submitting the appeal paperwork on December 19, 2013. He was told that if he filed an appeal against the court’s decision, the procurator would file a complaint and request a heavier sentence.
The threat did not stop Ms. Wu’s family member. He went to the Xinyi Detention Center that afternoon, along with the family of Ms. Li and Ms. Hu, to get the practitioners’ signatures for the appeal. They were told that the paperwork had to go through the head guard before being given to the practitioners.
When the families consulted a lawyer, they were told that the paperwork should be passed on to the practitioners to sign before being submitted to the court. The paperwork was eventually given to the director of the detention center for review. When the families called the detention center on December 20, a female guard confirmed that the paperwork had been signed by all three practitioners and was handed to the court.
Ms. Wu and Ms. Hu are from Gaozhou City, and Ms. Li is from Xinyi City in Guangdong Province. The three were arrested in Xinyi on August 1, 2013, by officers from the Wangsha Township Police Station. They were taken to the Xinyi Detention Center on August 10, where they are being held.
Ms. Wu’s family was notified on November 4, 2013, that the practitioners would be tried on November 8 in Xinyi City Court. However, Ms. Hu’s family was not notified, and her husband only found out about the trial through Ms. Wu’s family. When Ms. Hu’s husband called to confirm the trial date, a court official lied and told him that the final date had yet to be decided. Ms. Wu’s lawyer was not notified of the trial either. After finding out through the family, the lawyer went to the court on November 5 to review the case files.
The trial was held on November 8, 2013, in Xinyi Court. The three practitioners were handcuffed and shackled.
The prosecutor presented their “evidence” and stated that many Falun Gong materials and DVD’s were found in the defendants’ car. The prosecutor also said that the practitioners could be sentenced from seven to nine years in prison due to the large amount of Falun Gong informational material they had. A few thousand yuan was confiscated when they were arrested, but the prosecutor claimed only a few hundred yuan was taken. Ms. Wu’s lawyer gave his defense and pleaded “not guilty” on her behalf.
Another hearing was held on the afternoon of December 15, 2013, in Xinyi Court, and the verdict was announced the following day.
The three practitioners have appealed to the Maoming City Intermediate Court and requested the decision be reversed. They pleaded “not guilty,” requested to be compensated according to the law, and asked that those involved be held responsible for the illegal sentencing.
Parties Responsible for the Persecution:
Wu Chenhong (吴晨虹), director of Xinyi City Procuratorate: +86-13929712988 (Cell)
Liang Xuyou (梁旭有), director of Xinyi City Court: +86-13500071278 (Cell)
Xu Yiwen (许奕文), presiding judge of Xinyi City Court: +86-13302514038 (Cell)
Huang Changwen (黄昌文), presiding judge of Maoming City Intermediate Court: +86-668-2299693 (Office) +86-13702869849 (Cell)
Ni Junxiong (倪俊雄), secretary of Maoming City Political and Legal Affairs Committee and director of Maoming City Police Department: +86-668-2910171 (Office), +86-668-2910088 (Office)
Luo Juntai (罗均泰), director of Maoming City 610 Office: +86-668-2910609 (Office), +86-668-2950266 (Office), +86-13927542088 (Cell)
Lei Tenglong (雷腾龙), director of Xinyi City 610 Office: +86-668-8882610 (Office), +86-13580035891 (Cell)
Category: Accounts of Persecution