Since the court opened on June 17, the trial of the false “obstruction” accusation against Falun Gong practitioners has been prolonged and postponed again and again, till on August 6 lawyers of both prosecutors and defendants presented their final arguments. The defence lawyer pointed out in his final submission, that the unusual way that the Hong Kong government deals with this case and the major prosecutor’s fallacious arguments during witness testimonies, evidently show that this is not an ordinary “obstruction” case. During the trial, the judge also expressed to the court that he is facing a very important choice, which will affect the Hong Kong people’s future freedoms of appeal and assembly.
On the morning of August 7, 2002, the defence lawyer John Haynes noted the prosecutor’s 33-page-long final submission is the longest submission that he has ever seen for an obstruction case. In addition, the Hong Kong government appointed a senior assistant criminal case prosecutor, Kevin Zervos to handle this obstruction case. Both facts demonstrated that the Hong Kong SAR government really attaches importance to this obstruction case, because they understand that this incident will involve complicated legal consequences. That they pay so much attention to this case gives people the impression that under pressure, they are determined to charge the 16 defendants guilty.
Aiming at the true nature of this case, the defence lawyer John Haynes proposed that the Judge could request the prosecutor use real data to prove how an appeal occupying 7 square metres could possibly create an obstruction of traffic on a footpath as wide as140 square metres. This way a justifiable verdict can be given under the completely objective condition.
Haynes also pointed out in his submission that the prosecutor impetuously assaulted the dependants’ credit standings. However, he is not able to see how their credit standings have anything to do with the obstruction case. If this were truly an obstruction case, he questioned why a small-scale protest is not acceptable on a road spacious enough to hold a football game. Haynes considered that this accusation is actually a political persecution. But the defendants that he knows do not have any political intention, nor are they against the government. He said the dependants’ protest was based on human rights because they believe that their fellow practitioners (under persecution) in Mainland are being killed.
Haynes mentioned that when defendant Lu Jie testified, she was asked about her education level. However, because of the higher education she received, she was not treated fairly on court, which let the judge think that she intentionally avoided the questions when she answered the prosecutor’s questions with a little hesitation.
When the prosecutor asked questions to the defendants, he kept asking things such as who was in charge, who printed the flyers, and who made suggestions or offered advice behind. This gave people the impression that this was paving the road for the future persecution.
Haynes said that it is true that the police received pressure from the Chinese Liaison Office. He said if this could not be called “pressure”, at least it is a kind of “influence”. He gave an example, a police officer involved in this case had received 5 complaints from the Chinese Liaison Office within one hour after the appeal started.
Another defence lawyer Paul Harris will present his final submission on August 8, Thursday.
Four Falun Gong practitioners from Switzerland and twelve Hong Kong practitioners were violently arrested by the Hong Kong police during a peaceful appeal in front of the Chinese Liaison Office on March 14. Later, they were accused with “potentially causing public obstruction”, “wilfully obstructing police”, and “attacking police”. This case of false accusation that should have never existed from the first place has lasted 25 days, since the court opened on June 17.
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