The Supreme Court of New South Wales has issued a default judgement against a Chinese government official for his role in the torture and persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.
The judgement made on Monday November 5 recognised that the defendant, Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai, had failed to provide a defense for the case brought against him by Sydney Falun Gong practitioner Mr Pan Yu.
It was hailed as a win by Mr Pan's legal team, being the first legal judgement against Mr Bo out of lawsuits filed in more than ten countries, including the USA, the UK and Canada.
"This case as the first of its kind sends a clear message to Bo Xilai," said Newton Xu, legal assistant for the case, at a press conference. "The Supreme Court of New South Wales has issued a default judgment against you, which is tantamount to an admission of legal liability and legal responsibility.
"Soon, in the years to come, once the CCP collapses, there will be no safe refuge for you, no place for you to go. You will be forced to stand trial for your crimes in China or in any of the others countries now investigating the human rights abuses perpetrated by your and your evil cohorts in China."
Mr Bo was Governor of Liaoning Province in 2000, where at least 373 Falun Gong practitioners have been confirmed dead due to torture and mistreatment in custody. Liaoning Province also houses the Longshan Forced Labor Camp and others, which lawsuit organisers say are among the most brutal in China for their treatment of detainees, particularly Falun Gong practitioners.
"The guard would sit on a chair and force me to squat in front of him with my face up," read a statement written by Mr Pan, describing "transformation" sessions he underwent to force him to renounce his belief in Falun Gong. "Then he would slap my face hard – sometimes 60 or 70 times a minute. When the guard's hands were tired from slapping, he would slap me with a shoe. Afterwards, I could barely see.
"In May 2000, the policemen fully charged the electric batons to 40,000 volts. They stripped me to my underwear and shocked me continuously for around 10 minutes.
"As soon as the baton would make contact with me, I would lose contact of my bodily functions, rendering me incontinent.
"The pain was indescribable."
Bo was served a summons in person while in Canberra for the APEC Leaders Forum.