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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Falun Gong wins court decision in historic lawsuit against Jiang Zemin et al

News Release

Toronto: July 18, 2006 – Canadian Falun Gong practitioners won an important court motion on Monday which clears the way for judgement on the merits of their historic $20 million civil lawsuit against Jiang Zemin, the former head of China and four other officials for torture.

Master Glustein of Ontario Superior Court granted the plaintiffs’ request to dispense with service to the defendants of the statement of claim and other court material. China has refused to accept the documents.

“The plaintiffs have ‘done everything in [their] power to effect service’ of the claim,” Master Glustein said in the 5-page decision. He also stated that it is in the interests of justice that service be dispensed with so that the case may proceed. “The plaintiffs will not be able to pursue any of these claims (systematic persecution and violations of genocide, torture and crimes against humanity) unless the Court dispenses with service.”

The Ontario case asserts that the five defendants orchestrated the systematic and brutal persecution of the six Canadian plaintiffs and hundreds of thousands of other Falun Gong practitioners in China. One of the plaintiffs, Professor Kunlun Zhang, was a Canadian citizen at the time of his detention and torture in China.

Master Glustein’s decision comes on the heels of a Canadian independent report released on July 6 that the Chinese government and its agencies have harvested vital organs and put to death large number of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience since 1999.

The plaintiffs will now seek a final judgment, likely in a default proceeding – meaning that the defendants will not defend the action. This case is one of 54 civil in 33 countries, against Jiang and other officials. Falun Gong practitioners have won several default judgments around the world.

CONTACT:

Kate Kempton, Olthuis Kleer Townshend, legal counsel,416-571-6775

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