Argentina: Lawsuit Against Luo Gan for Genocide Moves to Supreme Court

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The lawsuit against Luo Gan for genocide was filed by the Falun Dafa Association of Argentina on December 13th, 2005 at the 9th Tribunal under Judge Octavio Aráoz de Lamadrid, who in a very short time and also during the official holiday of the court, issued a 25-page ruling. This shows the importance and interest given to this case. This legal case, which concerns the persecution of one million Falun Dafa cultivators, and the speed of the first ruling, is probably without precedent in the legal history of Argentina.

Before this development, the public prosecutor rejected the case based on the "principle of territory." This was refuted in the resolution of Judge Lamadrid, stating, among other arguments, that, "By virtue of the international compromises which Argentina has come to terms with since the middle of the last century, and which were ratified by the constitutional reform in 1994, the principal of territory must concede to the aim to guarantee victims of similar outrages to equal access to justice.

"Even when an impulse to take action by the attorney of state does not exist, due to the institutional importance of the subject, as well as its practical consequences for the administration of justice and the special interest which it awakened in me, I cannot refrain from expressing my opinion about the same nor maintain silence nor not stand by my opinions which are different than those of the senior representative of the public defender.

"In summary, according to the way I see it, if the culprit of these crimes is caught - although fortuitously - in our country (or when we were in the condition to do so, as in this case)...and when the crimes are classified as crimes against humanity, which thus affects, therefore, the right of people, there may not exist any doubt concerning the faculty to apply Argentine penal law to an act taking place [outside the country] and committed by foreigners."

Luo Gan is one of the nine members of the Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The lawsuit is based on his role as the vice-director of the 610 Office, which has actively persecuted Falun Dafa since June 1999. The persecution masterminded by him also extends outside of China. One month ago, nine Argentine Falun Dafa practitioners were brutally assaulted and beaten by more than 40 CCP supporters of Luo Gan in front of the Argentine Congress Building when Luo Gan was visiting the Vice President. This assault took place one day after the filing of the lawsuit against Luo Gan.

The resolution of Judge Aráoz de Lamadrid also affirmed that the Argentinean Foreign Ministry already informed the judge on December 15th, 2005, as "requested by the Chinese Embassy" concerning the "immunity" of the accused Chinese official. This is the reason that Judge Lamadrid decided to declare "incompetent" and to transfer the case to the Supreme Court of Argentina. At the same time, Judge Lamadrid gave detailed arguments, citations and antecedents in his resolution to consolidate the competence of the Supreme Court to try this case.

Concerning the position of the Supreme Court, Judge Lamadrid articulated in detail in his resolution to the Supreme Court. One point he made: "The way I see it and due to the clear and the powerful position of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, the cases in which violations against the right of people are attributed, i.e. actions qualified as crimes against humanity, against a person or a group of persons who are in our country (where they can be located and - if necessary - be arrested), the Nation has the responsibility - which transfers obviously to her officials - to investigate, try and punish those who appear to be responsible of the same, even when the conducts reprehended have been committed outside the territory of our country.

"The way the terms of the accusation were brought against (corrobourated by accompanied publications of the United Nations), we find indisputable the denouncement of multiple acts (homicides, torture, torments, forced disappearances of persons etc.) committed systematically from a mechanism of a sovereign state (Peoples Republic of China), which constitute - undeniable - clear and open violations of human rights, which due to its scale, volume and seriousness must be recognised as CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, acknowledged by our internal (articles 118 and 75, paragraph 22 of the Magna Carta) and first ranking international [cites varies treaties signed by Argentina] legal codes.

"This case requires that Argentine justice guarantees the universal right to access to justice to a religious group which - presumably - is being a victim (in the country of origin and by their own State) of persecution, humiliation, tortures, assassinations and other crimes which classify in its totality as crimes against humanity."

Recently, the Spanish court accepted a similar lawsuit against former Chinese president Jiang Zemin and six other high ranking officials for their responsibility in the genocide carried out by CCP in Tibet. This case immediately received strong pressure from the CCP which is being exerted on the Spanish government. The Spanish Foreign Ministry contended that, "The Spanish government cannot interfere with the independent decision of the Magistrate."

The Argentine government is under scrutiny from the country and around the world, waiting to see whether Argentina will sustain her judicial sovereignty with the same determination.

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