Misses Two Court Dates, Whereabouts Unknown
By evading a lawsuit for murder and torture, a Chinese official has become a fugitive of the justice system in the southern African nation of Zambia.
On Saturday, Zambian police issued an arrest warrant for Su Rong, Gansu Province Party Secretary, who missed court dates on Nov. 8 and 13.
Su was visiting Zambia with an official Chinese delegation on November 4, when he was served with a summons by a marshal of the court and ordered to appear before the High Court of Zambia. A civil suit was filed on behalf of Falun Gong practitioners in China who allegedly were killed and tortured under Su’s watch during his tenure as an official in Jilin Province, China.
Su Rong is the second high-ranking Chinese official to be sued in Africa for crimes against Falun Gong practitioners, and the first official forced to remain in a foreign country pending legal proceedings.
In early August, former Education Minister Chen Zhili was sued in Tanzania. She reportedly fled the country after a date was set for her to face trial.
In Zambia on Nov. 5, the High Court ordered Su not to leave the country until the matter is settled. The rest of the official Chinese delegation left the country without him.
Su’s lawyer had requested a special hearing Saturday morning—not a normal day of business for the court—but Su failed to appear. Then the court issued an arrest warrant for contempt of court, a criminal offense that carries jail time. The warrant is valid within Zambian territory.
Su reportedly checked out of his room in the Taj Pomodzi Hotel in the capital city of Lusaka, but there was no record of his yet having left the country.
Both Zambia and Tanzania are Commonwealth nations whose legal systems follow the British legal tradition. The lawsuits against Su in Zambia and Chen in Tanzania were filed for the murder and torture of Falun Gong practitioners that allegedly took place in China.
The African nations join a growing number of national courts hearing lawsuits against high-level Chinese communist party officials. Targets of the lawsuits, such as former top leader Jiang Zemin, are deemed responsible for deaths, torture, incarceration, and other maltreatment of Falun Gong practitioners since 1999.
The U.S.—in a genocide case headed for the Supreme Court—Canada, Spain, and Australia are among the nations where lawsuits are being pursued. The charges range from torture and genocide to widespread civil rights violations.
Human rights NGO’s and several national governments have criticized the Chinese authorities for the persecution of the non-violent spiritual group. The U.S. House passed a resolution this year calling for an investigation into the harassment and rights violations committed by Chinese agents and consular officials against Falun Gong practitioners on U.S. soil.
Original article: http://en.epochtimes.com/news/4-11-15/24355.html
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