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Cult's Verdict Valid (08/18/01)



     A Chinese court's sentences for five organizers of a cult's
     self-immolation incident were "correct and in accordance with laws," said
     a renowned Chinese expert on criminal law yesterday in Beijing.

     Gao Mingxuan, a law school professor at the Renmin University of China,
     said that the judgment demonstrates the principle of "punishing chief
     criminals while treating accomplices separately in line with laws."

     The No 1 Intermediate People's Court of Beijing Municipality earlier
     yesterday sentenced Liu Yunfang and three other organizers to life
     imprisonment and 7-15 years in jail respectively for the self-immolation
     incident involving Falun Gong practitioners at Tian'anmen Square early
     this year.
   
     In a separate judgment of the court, a woman accomplice, who played a much
     lesser role, was exempted from criminal punishment.
     Gao pointed out that Liu Yunfang and his party were carrying on illegal
     activities, including organizing, instigating and helping Falun Gong
     practitioners to commit suicide or self-immolation, after the Chinese
     Government had banned the Falun Gong cult.

     Gao said that the penalty set by courts to punish a small number of key
     cult activity organizers and its loyal members helps guarantee the
     security of citizens' lives and property and maintains social order.

     The court made the judgments in accordance with China's criminal laws and
     relevant judicial explanations by the Supreme People's Court and the
     Supreme People's Procuratorate on handling criminal cases concerning
     cults, which provided sufficient legal basis for the judgment, Gao said.

     Gao noted that China has a comprehensive criminal judicial system for
     dealing with cults, adding that the supreme court and supreme
     procuratorate have promulgated detailed regulations concerning spreading
     cults, defying law implementation, slandering, instigating cults, and
     illegal gathering for cult activities. He said this shows that China makes
     full use of the law to crack down on cults.

     Gao Jinghong, deputy chief judge of the First Criminal Court of the
     Supreme People's Court, said that the accused involved in the
     self-immolation incident were organizers, plotters, helpers and
     instigators of others' suicides, and thus were defined as murderers and
     punished in accordance with criminal laws.

     Liu Baorong, a female accomplice who played a much lesser role in the
     suicide and performed meritorious deeds afterwards, was exempted from
     criminal penalties. This shows the Chinese courts' spirit of concern for
     the hoodwinked majority of Falun Gong practitioners while punishing the
hard-core minority, Judge Gao said.     ( Xinhua)

 


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