On Dec, 7, 2005, the so-called defamation lawsuit that lasted for 4 years between Falun Gong and the La Presse Chinoise Eastern Inc. in Montreal, Canada was eventually decided by Nina, M, Luso, the woman judge of Supreme Court of Quebec. Falun Gong lost the lawsuit while La Presse Chinoise won. Falun Gong, therefore, has to pay the retaining fee and court fee and other related expense which total 10,000 Canadian dollars as well as the loss of La Presse Chinoise.
For the first time, Crescent Chau, the president of La Presse Chinoise, recently publicized the lowdown of this case which receives the great concern of the overseas Chinese.
The Origin of the Case
On November 3, 2001, La Presse Chinoise published a public notification of a former Falun Gong practitioner He Bing in the form of advertisement. In her article, He Bing revealed with her own experience some secrets about Falun Gong.
Early next morning, Falun Gong practitioners bought all the issues of La Presse Chinoise that day in Montreal. In the meantime, they urged the press to call back all papers distributed or to be distributed, and warned the press not to publish any articles criticizing Falun Gong.
On the morning of November 5, two Falun Gong practitioners who's family name were Yang and Shou came to the press, urging the staff provide them with name and information of the people who published the advertisement as well as name, address and relevant information of the printing company that printed the paper. Staff of La Presse Chinoise refused such a requirement for the sake of commercial secret.
The practitioner whose family name was Yang said in severe tone that they have called the police and appealed for a lawsuit, "You shall remember what you said, and you are going to answer for it!"
At 1:30 p.m. that day, two other Falun Gong practitioners whose family name were Shun and Li came to the press again, urging the press to publish a "correction", which again met refu. Over one hour later, La Presse Chinoise received lawyer letter of Falun Gong, requiring the press to make apology and correction. The press then handed the letter to its lawyer for further action.
When this happened, a lot of Falun Gong practitioners' relatives in Montreal gave calls to La Presse Chinoise, saying that practicing of Falun Gong by their family members have resulted in split of their family. President of La Presse Chinoise, Crescent Chau, appointed to meet them in his office on December 1. Unexpectedly, on the day of meeting, Falun Gong sent out dozens of practitioners gathering in front of La Presse Chinoise to prevent to victims from entering office of the press. They even had close screening and thrashing on the victims.
Lodging a Complaint
Later, a total of 232 Falun Gong practitioners jointly appealed to the Superior Court of Quebec, accusing La Presse Chinoise of "defamation" and asked for $100,000 compensation (totally over 20 millions dollars). When held a court on December 10, the court issued Falun Gong with "Interim protective order" under their request, and postponed the lawsuit. In February 2002, La Presse Chinoise issued a special series on which articles written by Falun Gong victims were published. Consequently Falun Gong accused La Presse Chinoise "contempt of court" and said that the press violated IPO.
On April 26, 2002, Judge Pierre Warhol decided that since the IPO didn't state that La Presse Chinoise could not publish any article about Falun Gong, La Presse Chinoise could publish any article under the permission of Canadian legal system. The judge also rejected Falun Gong's accusation of La Presse Chinoise "contempt of court". On May 9, when held a court for the fourth time, lawyer of Falun Gong asked for an extension of IPO on Falun Gong. They further requested the court to issue new order, requiring La Presse Chinoise submitting copy of articles to Falun Gong before publishing articles about Falun Gong, clarifying that Falun Gong were empowered to argue and that La Presse Chinoise had to publish articles of both sides. Both requests were rejected by the judge for reason that "the press is free to publish any article and freedom of speech cannot be interfered."
Falun Gong Losing the Lawsuit
A court of the final judgment was held on November 10. When lawyers from both sides questioned testifiers, only 12 of the 232 Falun Gong accusers presented the court for testifying. The inquisition lasted to November 27 following 11 hearings. From February 23 to 26, 2004 were the time for lawyers from both sides to argue and made presentation. On November 7, 2005, Jeannine M. Rouseau, Judge of the Superior Court of Quebec decided that "evidence of the plaintiffs is insufficient for the court to draw such a conclusion, i.e. the criticizing articles excerpted by the plaintiffs are not accurate or with error, which are published so as to arouse public animosity in Canada or under the persecution of PRC against Falun Gong practitioners. The claims of the Falun Gong were dismissed."
The Evil Never Wins
Crescent Chau, who immigrated from Hongkong to Canada in his early years, said frankly that he felt extremely exhausted body and mind after the four-year-long lawsuit against Falun Gong. But he continued that what he gave most thought was how to reveal the real face of Falun Gong as the lawsuit itself was indeed a good "text book" that deserved understanding by the public.
"The lawsuit lasts four years and the sentence comes after one year and nine months' waiting. The judge makes such a decision on the basis of careful reviewing the material submitted by both the petitioners and the respondents," Said Crescent Chau, who was very gratified that two points were clarified by the judgment on its section of an Analysis of the Evidence as to Falun Gong,"Li Hongzhi repulses science as something dangerous and misleading; Falun Gong is a controversial movement which refuses to accept any criticism".
"It is a very pertinent comment!" said Mr. Chau, "Since 1999, the Falun Gong has been considered 'an evil cult' banned by the government of China. In a very short time, the Falun Gong carried out lots of demonstrations, large scaled propaganda, distributing fliers almost everywhere. They have tried to stop any negative accounts about Falun Gong by means of harassment and lawsuit in order to stop the voice of criticism. La Presse Chinoise is an instance.”
Mr. Chau indicated that during the lawsuit, the Falun Gong asked the judge to lay an injunction on any articles by La Presse Chinoise concerning Falun Gong. However, their propaganda network, including Epoch Times, New Tang Dynasty TV, Minghui Website broadcasted and published hundreds of provocative articles to defame him. "What I have been facing is a culture-revolution like defamatory attack. Such an attack is rarely seen in a country like Canada."
During the lawsuit, the Falun Gong conducted very malevolent action. "Some law workers find it unreasonable and believe that this can be used as a mean to push the respondents to a dead end. There is also a possibility that they intend to get rid of all the voices of opposition!" Said Mr. Chau. "During the inquisition, altogether over 200 Falun Gong practitioners participate in the lawsuit and demand a compensation of 100,000 Canadian dollars for each, which totals over 20, 000, 000 dollars.”
"Right or wrong, good or evil, it should be concluded by the public. One cannot go against the freedom of speech. As to Li HongZhi's abilities such as 'delaying the Big Bang of our universe', 'opening the heavenly eyes', 'flying into the air' and 'fetching an object in a distance', they are absolutely unfounded and unbelievable." out of the need of the lawsuit, Crescent Chau has thoroughly read the materials concerning Falun Gong.
"Our media has the responsibility to make investigation and in-depth account of Falun Gong with an objective attitude. It is bound to offer justicial support to the victims of Falun Gong and gives a reasonable account to the public. ”
"Li Hongzhi claims that his supernatural power is incomparably superior to that of Sakyamuni. But he could never prove that. The words just run out of at the month. He views the tolerance and lenience of Chinese as stupidity and defrauds others of their sympathy. I believe Li Hongzhi does think the lies will become the truth after thousands times of repetition."
(Xinhua, March 23, 2006)