Xu Shuangfu, Li Maoxing and Wang Jun, leaders of the "Three Grades of Servants" underground church, were secretly executed for murder last week by the Chinese communist regime. Xu Shuangfu's attorney Li Heping received a phone call from the court and learned this news.
This case was internally referred to as the "Thunder No. 1" big case within the Ministry of Public Security. This case has involved as many as 63 people. It started in March 2003, and spread to Shandong, Jiangxi, Sichuan and another seven provinces. To date, 22 people have been sentenced to death, and 12 more people have been executed.
While being interviewed by The Epoch Times, Attorney Li Heping said, "Today the court called me to ask for my address, saying that they need to mail me the final judgment paper. I asked for the status of this case. The judge said that the people were executed last week. I was very shocked. We have not obtained the final judgment paper nor have the family members been able to see the defendants, but they have already been executed. This is indeed too out of control."
Neither the attorney nor the reporter could contact the family of Xu Shuangfu. According to some insiders, because Xu's sister exposed the torture her brother received in jail, she has been tortured to the point of mental breakdown and was arrested and detained in jail.
Li Maoxing's wife told The Epoch Times that she received the phone call from Shuangya Middle Court, telling her to go to the court immediately to get Li's ashes. She grieved, "I have not gone to get the ashes, I can't take this anymore, and I don't want to go anyway."
Brief Introduction to the Case
"Three Grades of Servants" is a denomination of the underground church in China, with a reported number of over half a million followers in China. The leader of the denomination, Xu Shuangfu, was accused of illegal missionary work and organizing evil cult activities and sent to a labor camp and sentenced to over ten years in prison.
In April 2004, the Administration of Justice of Heilongjiang Province accused Xu Shuangfu, Li Maoxing and other people as being involved in intentionally killing 20 members from the "Lightning from the East" denomination, as well as being involved in fraud and other crimes. Over ten attorneys from Beijing and Shandong and Helongjiang provinces have been defending the accused.
This March, after three and a half days of trailing at the Shuangya Municipal Middle Court, the trial concluded. Several defendants revealed their experience of being interrogated with inhumane torture.
This July, the first court hearing sentenced Xu Shuangfu and another three people to death. The other three were sentenced to 15 years in prison. From October 17 to 19, the Heilongjiang Provincial High Court held the second hearing on this case at the Shuangya Municipal Middle court.
Attorney: Defendants were Innocent
Attorney Li Heping said, "All the defendants in this case were Christians. The defendants were accused of committing crimes while their religion was not mentioned. I think there is a problem here."
He said that the evidence presented was illegal, severely lacking and that the legal processes were not followed. Many defendants were seriously tortured while being interrogated. Xu Shuangfu and other defendants were tortured many times. Every time, the torture was aimed at forcing the defendant to admit to fabricated stories. If the defendant refused to admit, the torture would not stop. Sometimes, the defendant's hand was directly pulled to make a signature or fingerprint, and some were even tortured to death during the process.
Li Heping said that the so-called evidence used by the court to accuse the defendants was actually the oral confession forced out of them during the duress of torture. According to certain rules in criminal litigation law, the case can't be judged based only on oral statements. It is also illegal for illegally obtained evidence to be used in court.
According to Li Heping, Xu Shuangfu firmly denied all the charges. He denied his oral confession in the court, saying he was interrogated with torture and that he was beaten to admit everything. He firmly stated that he had nothing to do with the murder case. He emphasized that killing is forbidden by God. Li Maoxing defended himself saying, "If a person killed someone but was not even at the scene, how could he be accused of murder?"