(Minghui.org) Ms Wang Chuanju, a retired primary teacher and a Falun Gong practitioner, was illegally sentenced to four years in prison by a Junan County Court judge. Her lawyer submitted her appeal to a higher court on November 21st, 2014, but has been given the runaround by the legal system. It was recently learned that her case was closed and the original sentence was upheld.
Ms Wang, 60, from Junan County, was illegally arrested on June 16th, 2014, for posting informational materials about Falun Gong. She was tried on October 31st, 2014, at the Junan County Court.
Ms Wang Chuanju's lawyer flew from Beijing five times to meet the judge after submitting her appeal to the Linyi Intermediate Court on November 21st, 2014. However, each time, the judge avoided meeting the lawyer. The judge thus did not know all the facts about the case, and closed it without a hearing two months ago.
On January 8th, 2015, Ms Wang's lawyer asked judge Qiu Wen about the situation, to which Qiu replied that he had not read the case.
Ms Wang's lawyer went to the court nine times, requesting to meet with Qiu. However Qiu was never in his office, did not answer the phone or return text messages.
The lawyer borrowed someone's mobile phone to phone Qiu on March 27th, and finally got through, but was told the case was closed.
The lawyer asked judge Qiu, “How can the case be closed without a hearing? Why won't you answer my calls?” Qiu replied, “I have received too many calls and messages about Falun Gong practitioners.” The lawyer said, “You avoided my call, and violated Article 187 of the Criminal Procedure Law.” Qiu retorted, “What do you want me to do?” and hung up.
When the lawyer went to the Junan County Court, which originally tried the case, he learned that Ms Wang's case had been closed on January 27th, 2015, and the original verdict had been upheld. The Junan County Court notified the detention centre where Ms Wang was held on February 17th.
Article 187 of the Criminal Procedure Law states: A People's Court of second instance shall form a collegial panel and open a court session to hear a case of appeal. However, if after consulting the case file, interrogating the defendant and heeding the opinions of the other parties, defenders and agents ad litem, the collegial panel thinks the criminal facts are clear, it may open no court session.
The lawyer argued that the first trial was based on insufficient evidence and improper application of the law.
Ms Wang was charged under Article 300 of China's Criminal Code with “using a cult organisation to undermine law enforcement,” routinely used by the Communist regime to arbitrarily arrest and imprison Falun Gong practitioners. Ms. Wang was sentenced to four years in prison on November 18th, 2014. Her family plans to continue appealing.