On December 20th, 2004, oral arguments were heard by the New York Supreme Court in the case of the public assault of Falun Gong practitioners. Liang Guanjun (closely affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party) and others were charged with the public assault of Falun Gong practitioners outside New York Chinatown's Yidong Restaurant in June 2003. Liang Guanjun, Hua Junxiong, Huang Keqiang and accomplices are charged with six counts of criminal activities: battery, assault, conspiracy, defamation, intent to inflict emotional distress and violation of civil rights.
Defence attorneys requested that the court dismiss the lawsuit on all counts.
The Oral Argument
On Monday of December 20, 2004, the day of the hearing, the court was filled to capacity. The judge noted that the defendant's attorneys and his associates four attorneys were present, as well as plaintiff's attorney Lana Han, representing the more than thirty Falun Gong practitioners seated in the audience. The hearing took close to an hour.
The defence attorneys led the introduction. They stated that Falun Gong practitioners were appealing to Chinese diplomats outside of Yidong Restaurant. It was apparent that the practitioners wished to convey a message to the Chinese government, to stop persecuting Falun Gong. Defence attorneys refuted the six crimes that their clients had been charged with.
The judge interrupted the defence attorney's presentation, reminding him that peaceful appeals are a legal way to present one's opinion, that they are appropriate under the law and are protected by law.
The judge asked the plaintiffs' attorney certain detailed information concerning the lawsuit. Attorney Han explained the reasons for the plaintiffs charging Liang and his associates with the six crimes, and described the attack and the physical and mental harm done to the plaintiffs.
The judge denied Huang Keqiang's attorney's request to address the court. The attorney did not follow New York law and court procedures, under which data and evidence have to be presented.
The plaintiffs' attorney requested leave of the court to add additional evidence to the charges and file an amended complaint. The judge granted an extension to add additional evidence to the charges concerning the crimes by Liang Guajun and his associates. Once the amended complaint is filed, the same judge will hear the amended charges.
Stop the persecution that has been exported to the United States
After the Independence Day Parade in New York in 2004, Liang Guanjun, Hua Junxiong, Huang Keqiang and Peter Wong were served a summons from the New York State Supreme Court. The summons was for the complaint of plotting and group attack of Falun Gong practitioners appealing peacefully on June 23, 2003.
Attorney Han said, "The U.S. is a country governed by the rule of law. Those who assault others will not escape justice. The Falun Gong practitioners' legal rights are protected by law. It is a tool to prevent the exportation of the CCP's unlawful persecution of Falun Gong to U.S. soil."
Liang Guanjun attempts and fails to escape justice
Clearwisdom reported on June 27, 2003 that around 11 pm on June 25, 2003, Liang Guanjun, president of the United Chinese Association of Greater New York, Inc. (UCAGNY), was served with a criminal summons by the sheriff of the Fifth Precinct of New York.
On June 23, 2003, the gang beating occurred outside the Yidong Restaurant, located in New York's Chinatown. Liang Guanjun and his associates were hosting a banquet there for Wang Yingfan, a departing Chinese UN ambassador and Zhang Hongxi, the Consul-General from the Chinese Consulate in New York City. Falun Gong practitioners appealed outside the restaurant and distributed truth-clarifying materials, in the hope that the visiting officials would take the practitioners' appeal back to China's ruling regime. Liang Guanjun and his accomplices accosted and attacked the practitioners outside the restaurant.
In the afternoon of June 25, 2003, the complaint was originally dismissed, but the hearing was opened again thereafter. The Fifth Precinct took Liang Guanjun's fingerprints and recorded witness' accounts of his crimes.
The practitioners' attorney reasoned that although Liang Guanjun attempted to escape his responsibility because of his position in Chinatown, U.S. law will not allow him to escape justice.
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