The preliminary hearing of Dr. Wenyi Wang, 47, was postponed again for nearly two weeks, till May 31 as both sides sought more time to prepare. The charges stem from her interruption of the Chinese Communist leader Hu Jintao on April 20 at the White House South Lawn. She was escorted away by the Secret Service, spent the rest of the day in jail, and later was released without bail on her own recognizance, pending further proceedings.
The physician protester is being charged with a federal misdemeanor of "willfully intimidating, coercing, threatening and harassing a foreign official." The punishment she could face is up to six months in prison and a $5,000 fine. The defense has maintained that she was no threat to the Chinese Communist leader as charged.
Meanwhile, since the decision to postpone the preliminary hearing, the government has initiated negotiations with the defense so that the case would not go to trial if an agreement could be reached. The defense team has taken the view that the First Amendment is "very relevant" to this case, and that "the reach of this statute" that is being invoked is "not as broad so as to limit free speech," according to Attorney Terri Marsh, who is on Dr. Wang's legal defense team.
Dr. Wang, herself, is making it clear that she does not regard her speaking out as she did as doing anything wrong, and wants to be completely exonerated. Michael J. Horowitz, a senior fellow from the Hudson Institute and who frequently accompanies Dr. Wang at press conferences, said at the National Press Club on May 16, that based on his more than 30 years of practicing law, that the charges are way overblown, and noted that a Washington Post editorial had said the same.
Beijing attorney Gao Zhisheng was invited by Attorney Marsh to join Dr. Wang's legal defense team. His interest in the case indicates the importance it holds for many watching in China, who agree with the reason that Wang spoke up, regarding the killing of Falun Gong practitioners for the sale of their vital organs. Gao is well known in China and aboard for his three open letters to Chinese Communist leader Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, urging an end to the barbaric persecution of Falun Gong.
According to the Wikipedia encyclopedia, Gao, "…41, army veteran, self taught lawyer, Christian; is director, founder and star litigator of the well known Beijing based Shengzhi Law Office. The office, because it is one few Chinese law firms involved with human rights issues, has been suspended by the Chinese authorities for one year." For the last 90 days, Gao and his family have been surrounded by 29 public security agents.
Dr. Wang said to The Epoch Times on May 18 that she is contemplating a lawsuit against the cameraman working for the China Central Television (CCTV), because of alleged physical abuse during the incident.
Dr. Wang was trained in China as a medical doctor, holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Chicago, and completed her residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.