- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 21, 2006

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Charges will be dropped against a woman who heckled Chinese President Hu Jintao at a White House ceremony in April, her attorney said yesterday.

Wang Wenyi, 47, faced a misdemeanor charge of intimidating, coercing, threatening and harassing a foreign official for interrupting the carefully choreographed April 20 event at which President Bush welcomed Mr. Hu to the White House.

She could have been sentenced to six months in jail and given a $5,000 fine.

At a court appearance yesterday, Miss Wang’s attorney, David Bos, told U.S. District Court Judge John Facciola that he and prosecutors had reached a deal to dismiss the charges.

Details were not available.

Miss Wang said she is prohibited from confronting Mr. Hu over the next year. The case will be continued until then, and if she meets the requirement, the charges will be dropped, she said.

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

Standing on a camera stand with reporters in April, Miss Wang shouted as Mr. Hu began his remarks.

Speaking in Chinese and English, she said, “President Bush, stop him from killing,” and urged Mr. Bush to “stop him from persecuting the Falun Gong.”

Mr. Hu paused briefly, but continued with his speech.

Miss Wang shouted for several minutes and waved the red-and-yellow colors of the spiritual movement that is banned in China before uniformed Secret Service officers hauled her off the stand.

A Chinese cameraman briefly tried to cover her mouth with his hand.

Miss Wang, a New York pathologist and Falun Gong practitioner, received a credential to the event through the Falun Gong newspaper Epoch Times. The Secret Service said Miss Wang was cleared through all appropriate levels of security.

Mr. Bush later apologized to Mr. Hu for the disruption.

Miss Wang said after her arrest that she was protesting human rights abuse in China, including purported organ harvesting from Falun Gong members, an accusation that China denies.

In July 2001, she confronted Chinese President Jiang Zemin on the island of Malta.

A federal magistrate judge agreed last month to delay a preliminary hearing for Miss Wang as her attorneys tried to work out a deal to avoid a trial.

A spiritual organization that once had millions of followers, Falun Gong was banned by the Chinese government in 1999.

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