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Henan pastor’s trial resumes with little cooperation from court; pastor’s daughter held in black jail

ICC Note:

In November, 2013, Pastor Zhang Shaojie from Nanle County, China, was tricked to meeting with government officials and then detained without any formal documents. His daughter soon fled out of Nanle County to secure a famous human rights lawyer to defend Pastor Zhang. However, the trial was delayed and, under the pressure from the court, Pastor Zhang’s family members were forced to fire the two lawyers who would otherwise lose their law license if they continued to defend them. In late April, 2014, the long-awaited trial resumed with new defense lawyers in place.  This trial has been unfair from the start and the court has been uncooperative. 

05/02/2014 (ChinaAid)-The trial of a detained Three-Self pastor in central China’s Henan province resumed on Tuesday with new defense lawyers in place; meanwhile, the pastor’s daughter had been taken to a black jail.

Pastor Zhang Shaojie’s trial, after much delay, began on April 10. The hearing that day ended with Zhang Shaojie firing his lawyers, Zhao Yonglin and Liu Weiguo, out of desperation caused by the unjust 

The trial of a detained Three-Self pastor in central China’s Henan province resumed on Tuesday with new defense lawyers in place; meanwhile, the pastor’s daughter had been taken to a black jail.

Pastor Zhang Shaojie’s trial, after much delay, began on April 10. The hearing that day ended with Zhang Shaojie firing his lawyers, Zhao Yonglin and Liu Weiguo, out of desperation caused by the unjust situation created by the court (seehttp://www.chinaaid.org/2014/04/tspm-pastors-trial-in-henan-adjourned.html andhttp://www.chinaaid.org/2014/04/tspm-pastor-hires-new-lawyers-trial-to.html).

The prosecution submitted four written records as evidence against Zhang Shaojie; however, none of the witnesses who allegedly gave the statements were present in court despite requests from the defense for their attendance. In addition, the written records are said to have been obtained while the witnesses were held in a black jail, and the police signatures on one of the records, which require two police signatures, appeared to have been signed by one person.

When the trial resumed Tuesday morning, Zhang Shaojie’s new lawyers, Zhang Xinyun and Li Dunyong requested that 10 witnesses be summoned to the hearing, but the judge rejected the request.

Included in the 10 requested witnesses was Li Cairen, a believer detained in an illegal detention center. Li is the victim, according to the procuatorate, of Zhang Shaojie’s alleged fraud charge, in which he supposedly swindled Li out of 700,000 yuan (US$111,000). The charges stem from Zhang Shaojie having helped Li Cairen negotiate a settlement when her son was killed in an accident in 2009 (seehttp://www.chinaaid.org/2014/01/exclusive-identity-of-12-detained-nanle.html andhttp://www.chinaaid.org/2014/02/pastors-trial-postponed-story-behind.html).

“Compared to last time, they are more resolute and not friendly,” Zhang Linxin, Zhang Shaojie’s daughter, said. Zhang Linxin was one of two relatives allowed in the courtroom, which seated approximately 20 people.

“My father [would] say something in court, but he was always interrupted. Sometimes, my father wanted to say that certain things were not what he meant… He was interrupted by the chief judge when he wanted to explain,” Zhang Linxin said.

“My father’s condition is not very well. He looked dispirited and more emaciated that the last time I saw him,” Zhang Linxin told China Aid.

When the trial was adjourned at 8 p.m., Li Dunyong said that authentication had been completed and the trial would resume the following morning. “Zhang Shaojie performed well in court, and he tried his best to defend himself.”

Believers reported that the local police had sealed roads accessing the courthouse, just like they did on April 10. Also, church members were visited by police in their homes and told not to leave their homes during the trial.

China Aid also learned that, prior to her father’s trial, Zhang Huixin, Zhang Shaojie’s oldest daughter, had been taken to a black jail. Before that, Zhang Huixin had been at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing on April 25, where she was forcibly removed from the building and became unconscious during her ejection. Details about the events at the U.S. Embassy and Zhang Huixin’s subsequent detention are limited at this time.

 

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