(Minghui.org) A district court in Shanxi Province attempted to try a Falun Gong practitioner earlier this month for distributing informational materials. The hearing was adjourned when the defence lawyer called into question one of many violations of legal procedure. From the practitioner's arrest to the trial, the authorities repeatedly broke the law.
Ms Xu Xiucai, almost 60, was illegally detained by a guard near a military construction site in Datong City, Shanxi Province, on September 13th, 2014. The guard suspected that she was distributing materials about Falun Dafa and searched her without cause.
Officers from the nearby police station came and took Ms Xu into custody. They beat her for a long time, attempting to coerce a confession. When their hands grew sore, they took off their shoes and used them to slap her.
Ms Xu remains in police custody.
Covering up police torture during interrogation
Defence lawyer Mr Wang Yu travelled from Beijing to work on Ms Xu's case. He reported to the Datong Prosecutor that the police had used torture during the interrogation and requested an investigation. The section chief of the Public Prosecution Section responded, “[Can you] show any evidence of that?”
A prosecutor at the Accusations and Petitions Division, where Mr Wang submitted his complaint, said, “The Prosecutor's primary job is issuing indictments based on police-submitted evidence. Validating the authenticity of the evidence is secondary.”
The Prosecutor refused to investigate the police abuse of Ms Xu, claiming that the police station’s video recording on that day couldn’t be retrieved.
Eavesdropping on lawyer-client conversation
When Mr Wang and another lawyer visited Ms Xu at the detention centre on April 1st, 2015, they discovered that guards had been listening in on their confidential conversation.
The lawyers told the director of the detention centre that, by law, an lawyer’s conversation with a client should not be monitored. The director replied, “This is the rule here.”
Supporters prevented from attending trial
On the day of the hearing, April 2nd, 2015, there was tight security outside the courthouse. Armed police manned water cannons on two fire engines parked outside the Nanjiao District Court in Datong City. Police blocked the road. Many uniformed and plainclothes police officers patrolled the streets.
The court arranged for a few dozen “audience members” from the police department and other offices to sit in the courtroom. Ms Xu's friends, who had come to support her at the hearing, were denied entry.
Failure to serve summons before trial
When the hearing started, Mr Wang asked the judge why the court didn’t serve his client a summons for the hearing. According to Article 182, Item 3 of the “Criminal Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China”, the court must deliver a summons to the defendant no later than three days before the trial. The judge had no answer.
Defence lawyers tricked into leaving courtroom
After discussing the summons issue for half an hour, the judge announced an adjournment. Both of Ms Xu's lawyers left the courtroom, thinking that was the end of that day's proceedings.