- The Chinese text was generated by OCR'ing low-quality images of the original court judgment posted online. I have attempted to identify and correct the typographical errors that may have been introduced in the OCR process.
- Sheng Zhonghua was convicted for committing the crime of "寻衅滋事." I translate this as "disturbing the peace," while other translators translate it as "picking quarrels and provoking troubles."
People's Court of Ganjingzi District, Dalian
(2020) Liao 0211 Criminal First Instance 459
The public prosecution agency was the People's Procuratorate of Ganjingzi District, Dalian.
Defendant Sheng Zhonghua, male, born March 19, 1980, Citizen ID No. [OBSCURED IN ORIGINAL], Han ethnicity, college education, unemployed, household registration location [OBSCURED IN ORIGINAL], Dalian, Liaoning, current address and household registration[OBSCURED IN ORIGINAL]. On May 15, 2020, he was taken into criminal detention in connection with this case by the Public Security Bureau of Dalian's Ganjingzi Precinct. On June 18, 2020, he was arrested. He is currently being held in detention at the Dalian Detention Center.
Assigned defense counsel was Su Huanhai of the Liaoning LijinLaw Firm.
In the Gan Procuratorate Public Prosecution Criminal Indictment (2020) No. 460 the People's Procuratorate of Ganjingzi, Dalian charged defendant Sheng Zhonghua on suspicion the offense of disturbing the peace, and on September 3, 2020 it filed a public prosecution with this Court. After this Court docketed the case, it formed a collegial panel in accordance with the law, and tried this case with hearings in open court. the People's Procuratorate of Ganjingzi, Dalian assigned prosecutor Zhang Fuli and prosecutor's assistant Liu Zhonglin to appear in court in support of the public prosecution. Defendant Sheng Zhonghua and his defense counsel both appeared in court to participate in the proceedings. The trial has now concluded.
The People's Procuratorate of Ganjingzi, Dalian charged that in March 2019, defendant Sheng Zhonghua registered an account named kinglock@ikinglockjoe on the American social network Twitter (Twitter) website. From March 2019 to June 2019, at his home in [OBSCURED IN ORIGINAL], Dalian, Sheng Zhonghua used this account to climb the wall and log into the Twitter website to repost and disseminate 139 inappropriate remarks and fake information that insulted Party and State leaders and related to major domestic events.
After that account was frozen by the relevant agency due to the aforementioned illegal actions, he registered a Twitter account again in August 2019 named kaxili@kinglock10, and subsequently set up privacy restrictions and proceeded to repost 30 inappropriate remarks and fake information that insulted Party and State leaders and related to major domestic events.
The public prosecution agency provided evidence in support of the charges to this Court including documentary evidence, witness testimony, the defendant's statements and justifications, crime scene investigation, and investigation record.
The public prosecution agency alleged that defendant Sheng Zhonghua created a disturbance in a public venue, causing severe disruption of public order. The criminal facts are clear, the evidence is reliable and copious, and he should bear criminal liability for the offense of disturbing the peace. It requests this Court pass sentence in accordance with the law.
Defendant Sheng Zhonghua did not have any objections to the criminal facts or offense charged by the public prosecution agency, and in court expressed that he would voluntarily admit guilt. He argued that his purpose in going on Twitter was to read foreign information and news, and not all the content revolved around domestic fake information. Among the more than 1,000 messages he forwarded, only more than 100 were about insulting State leaders, accounting for only 10%. Subjectively this was not intentionally reposting remarks that insulted the country's leaders, and he was not aware of this problem when he was reposting. His other account had privacy permissions set up, and was only for him to collect things he liked, and the subjective purpose was not for dissemination.
His defense counsel's defense opinions were in agreement with the defendant's opinion. The defendant was a first time offender with no record. After being taken into police custody he admitted his guilt and his attitude was relatively good, he expressed remorse, and made truthful statements. It was requested that he be given a lighter punishment or shown leniency.
It was ascertained at trial that, in March 2019, defendant Sheng Zhonghua defendant Sheng Zhonghua registered an account named kinglock@ikinglockjoe on the American social network Twitter (Twitter) website. From March 2019 to June 2019, at his home in [OBSCURED IN ORIGINAL], Dalian, Sheng Zhonghua used this account to climb the wall and log into the Twitter website to repost and disseminate 139 inappropriate remarks and fake information that insulted Party and State leaders and related to major domestic events. These triggered a large number of comments, reposts, and likes, creating an offensive influence. On May 14, 2020, the defendant received a telephonic summons from the public security agency, and after being taken into police custody made truthful statements regarding the aforementioned actions.
The aforementioned facts are based on evidence that was subject to an examination by this Court at trial from sources accepted by the Court, including evidence from the case files such as the process of how the defendant came into police custody, documentary evidence such as household registration certificates, criminal record inquiry certificates, entry health checklists, and situation statements, the testimony of witnesses Song [OBSCURED IN ORIGINAL], Su [OBSCURED IN ORIGINAL], Song [OBSCURED IN ORIGINAL] and others, defendant Sheng Zhonghua's statements and justifications, the remote crime scene investigation work records of the Cybersecurity Detachment of the Public Security Bureau of Dalian's Ganjingzi Precinct. It is sufficient to reach a determination.
This Court finds defendant Sheng Zhonghua disseminated information online that he clearly new to be fabricated insults that smeared Party and State leaders, creating a disturbance, causing a severe disruption of public order. His actions constitute the commission of the crime of disturbing the peace. The facts and offenses charged by the public prosecution agency are established. The defendant received a telephonic summons from the public security agency, and after being taken into police custody made truthful statements regarding his acts of having reposted fake information. Although there is justification regarding the nature and subjective understanding of the criminal act he committed, it does not affect the determination that he surrendered himself to authorities, and in accordance with the law he may be given a lighter punishment. The public prosecution agency's sentencing recommendation is appropriate, and shall be adopted. In summary of the foregoing, in accordance with the provisions of Articles 293(1) and 67 of the "Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China" and Article 5 of the "Interpretation of the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate on Several Issues Concerning the Specific Application of Law in the Handling of Defamation Through Information Networks and Other Criminal Cases," the judgment is as follows:
Defendant Sheng Zhonghua committed the crime of disturbing the peace, and is sentenced to a fixed term imprisonment of 10 months.
(The prison term is to be calculated starting on the day the judgment is executed, and each day in custody prior to the execution of the judgment shall count as one day of the prison term, that is from May 15, 2020 to March 14, 2021.)
If any party does not accept this judgment, they may within 10 days after the second day after receiving this written judgment bring an appeal through this Court or directly to the Intermediate People's Court of Dalian. A written appeal should be submitted with one original and two copies of the appeal brief.
Chief Adjudicator Gao Yang
People's Assessor Xing Aijuan
People's Assessor Sun Yan
January 29, 2021
Clerk Sun Wenyao