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298 The Truth Surfaces

 Huo Jialan appeared aloof as she was brought into the court by the bailiff, and couldn't help freezing when she saw a navy suited Gu Nianzhi at the plaintiff's defense bar table. Her eyes quickly scanned through the courtroom, then she silently followed the bailiff to the witness stand. Bai Jinyi's side showed a disdainful look at Gu Nianzhi summoning Huo Jialan as a witness. Huo Jianlan had tortured Song Jinning all along because she thought Song Jinning was the one to cause her mother's suicide. If she suspected Bai Jinyi at all, she wouldn't have treated Song Jinning so poorly. The Bai's were certain that Huo Jialan possessed no evidence and calmly waited for Gu Nianzhi to make a fool of herself.

Gu Nianzhi allowed Huo Jialan to declare her identity in accordance to court procedures, then delved into the case. "Miss Huo Jialan, may I ask if you accepted all the inheritance from your father, Huo Guanyuan and your mother, Luo Xinxue?"

Huo Jialan was especially stunning today, her luscious lips were in a coral lip color to match with her coral colored suit perfectly. Pouting, she tapped her bright red nail at the corner of her lips for a second and shot back at Gu Nianzhi, "Is my parent's inheritance related to this case?"

"Of course." Gu Nianzhi calmly stared at her, "You just have to answer yes or no."

"The deceased's inheritance is related to the case, the witness is to answer," The judge also supported Gu Nianzhi.

Gu Nianzhi smiled gratefully at the judge, then continued looking at Huo Jialan.

Huo Jialan pursed her lips and seemed reluctant to say, "...Yes, and so what? They're my parents, and I'm their only daughter. Who else would they leave their inheritance to?"

"I'm not questioning your right to inherit, what are you refuting exactly?" Gu Nianzhi raised her brows in surprise at Huo Jialan's unexpected attitude.

The corners of Huo Jialan's eyes twitched. She panicked but was able to calmly calm down and smile, "Your way of questioning who have had anyone asking the same?"

Gu Nianzhi glanced at her again and continued, "Since you've accepted all of Huo Guanyuan and Luo Xinxue's inheritance, I want to summon two types of evidence from you. --The request had already be approved by the court, here is the document." Gu Nianzhi lifted her hand a bailiff passed the approved document to Huo Jialan.

"What kind of evidence?" Huo Jialan frowned. The two attachments on the document were an inventory of belongings and an inventory of a will.

"One is the inventory of Senior Colonel Huo Guanyuan's belongings that the military had handed over to your mother after he suddenly perished in the lab experiment 16 years ago. Your mother also had this list, and the military kept a copy as well and stored it with Senior Colonel Huo Guanyuan's file." Gu Nianzhi started with introducing the first list.

Huo Jialan read it in silence then looked up at Gu Nianzhi for her to continue. "The second list details your mother, Luo Xinxue's will." Gu Niaznhi pointed to the image of the document on the large screen,, "Luo Xinxue had listed all her personal and real properties, as well as important household items. Please comply with the court's request and present the items on Huo Guanyuan's inventory of belongings and Luo Xinxue's inventory of will to the court in order to assist the investigation."

Huo Jialan's hand trembled slightly. She forced herself to maintain composure and spoke in an even voice, "I had inherited my parent's inheritance, but it's that was over 10 years ago. With so many items, I need time to go home and look for them."

"Really? May I ask how long you need to find them?" Gu Nianzhi looked at the two lists, "These are small items and there are not that many of them. There are fewer than 50 items combined and most are pieces of jewelry on your mother Luo Xinxue inventory."In addition to the real estate, savings deposits Huo Guanyuan and Luo Xinxue had left behind, there were only a few small items.

Huo Jialan was quiet for awhile, "I need two or three days to look..."

"Haha, I'll give you two hours. If you can't find them, I'll request a search warrant from the court and have your home searched directly." Gu Nianzhi did not hesitate to reject Huo Jialan's request.

The judge also felt that two or three days was too long to complete the search for a simple list of items. He agreed with Gu Nianzhi, "Allow the witness two hours to complete the list immediately. She can explain to the court the reason if she can't find them, or need more time. --The court is adjourned."

The court was adjourned for two hours.

Bai Jinyi was getting grumpy as she spoke to Lawyer Jin, "Why are you letting a little law student take you by the collar? What on earth are you all doing?"

Lawyer Jin scowled and said in a hushed voice, "Of course we're doing something. The court had been adjourned for a week and we had a neutral medical examiner perform an autopsy. Did Director Bai forget?"

Bai Jinyi was rendered speechless.

Lawyer Jin then continued with a mirthless laugh, "If Director Bai can give us more direct information and mention some names, we wouldn't have to stay on the defensive." According to Huaxia laws, the one to press charges was responsible for providing evidence. So even though Gu Nianzhi was representing the plaintiff, she had to speak up more because her job was to convince the judge and prove that Luo Xinxue had been in fact murdered by Bai Jinyi.

Lawyer Jin was Bai Jinyi's defense lawyer, and they needed to find laws in Gu Nianzhi's argument and dispute it. So far, they had not yet found any flaws. "...However, out team of lawyers have already discussed this." Lawyer looked around, "We can work on the new witness that the plaintiff has summoned."

Bai Jinyi was perplexed, "Hiuo Jialan? What a joke, what could you possibly plan to do?"

"Director Bai, please allow us to handle the legal matters. What you have to do is to tell us the entire truth. You have to understand that any concealment is aiding the other party send you to jail."

Bai Jinyi pursed her lips and reflexively shot back, "I've told you all I can, I didn't conceal anything."

...

Two hours later, the court resumed session. A stony faced Huo Jialan returned to hand over what she had inherited from her parents for Gu Nianzhi's team to put into inventory.

Director Wang of the Special Operations Forces Forensics Department personally verified the items against the inventories of belongings and will. He found that two items were missing. "One, Senior Colonel Huo Guanyuan's personal cell phone. Cell phone number 1XXXXXXXXX. Two, a birth certificate Luo Xinxue had stored in a bank safe. Your Honor, Miss Huo did not hand over the above items."

The judge looked at Huo Jialan, "Huo Jialan, may I ask why the personal cell phone listed on Huo Guanyuan's inventory of belongings list and the birth certificate Luo Xinxue had stored in a bank safe was not among the items handed over?"

She shook her head at him, "I'm sorry, Your Honor. My father's inventory of belongings was handed over by the military to my mother and she was the one who signed for it. By the time I inherited it, I had never seen such a list. I took the list the court had provided to compare against my father's items and saw that everything was there except for this personal cell phone."

What a coincidence. The court room was suddenly abuzz with discussion, but Gu Nianzhi remained calm and silent. Truthfully, it was inevitable that some of the items had been lost or disposed of after all these years, so Gu Nianzhi understood. However from Director Wang's years of experience in forensics, he felt that something was unusual. "Lawyer Gu, Senior Colonel Huo Guanyuan's personal cell phone is certainly not a normal piece of evidence, you should request the court to grant permission to have the mobile company release the call and text records." Without a court subpoena, the mobile company would not allow anyone other than the owner of the phone to obtain records. Of course, it didn't matter to Gu Nianzhi if the phone was gone, since Brother Ze would be able to access the contents of any phone with just the phone number. However Zhao Liangze's means of obtaining intelligence was exclusive to the Special Ops and could not be presented to the court as evidence. The only legal evidence accepted was the records provided by the mobile company for the supplied phone number.

"Your Honor, we believe that the content saved on this phone is crucial to this case and request that the court can approve of a subpoena to the mobile company to release the call records for this cell phone." Gu Nianzhi requested boldly.

The judge pondered for a long time, and felt that it was strange that all Huo Guanyuan's belongings was presented with the exception of the phone. He agreed to Gu Nianzhi's request and issued a subpoena to the mobile company.