Falun Gong heckler agrees to plea deal

WASHINGTON – The Falun Gong follower who heckled Chinese President Hu Jintao at a White House ceremony has reached a deal with prosecutors that will drop all charges against her, her attorney announced yesterday.

Wang Wenyi faced a misdemeanor charge of intimidating, coercing, threatening and harassing a foreign official for interrupting the April 20 event in which President George W. Bush welcomed Hu to the White House. She could have faced 6 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Her attorney, David Bos, told U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge John Facciola at yesterday’s hearing that he and prosecutors had reached the deal.

Wang, 47, is prohibited from confronting foreign officials for one year. If she does not commit any felonies, including confronting foreign officials, the charges will be dropped, said Channing Phillips, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office.

“Today is not the important thing,” Wang said. “The important thing is all the Falun Gong practitioners who are losing their lives.”

Wang, of Queens, attended the White House event through the Falun Gong newspaper Epoch Times. The Chinese government banned the spiritual organization Falun Gong in 1999. Wang said she was protesting human rights abuse in China, including alleged organ harvesting of Falun Gong members, an accusation China denies.

At the ceremony, Wang stood on a camera stand and shouted as Hu began his remarks, saying, “President Bush, stop him from killing.” Hu paused briefly, but continued his speech. Secret Service officers hauled Wang off.

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AP, via Newsday, USA
June 22, 2006

Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday June 22, 2006.
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