Translation: Wang Yuwen & Wang Liqin Inciting Subversion Court Judgment
Intermediate People's Court, Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan
(2020) Yun 23 Criminal First Instance No. 48
The public prosecution agency was the People's Procuratorate of Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture.
Defendant Wang Yuwen, male, born [Intentionally Omitted], 1985, Han ethnicity, from Dayao County, Yunnan, junior college education, residing at Room 602, Unit 1, Building 1, Jiang'an Shangpin District, Donggua Town, Weichu Avenue, Chuxiong. On May 31, 2020, he was taken into criminal detention by the Public Security Bureau of Chuxiong Prefecture in connection with this case, and on July 3 of the same year he was arrested. He is currently being held in detention at the Chuxiong Detention Center.
Defense counsel Zhang Lei is a lawyer at the Beijing Tongling Zhengxin Law Firm.
Defendant Wang Liqin, female, born [Intentionally Omitted], 1984, Han ethnicity, from Gounan County, Jiangsu, high school education, residing at Room 602, Unit 1, Building 1, Jiang'an Shangpin District, Donggua Town, Weichu Avenue, Chuxiong. On June 17, 2020 she was taken into criminal detention by the Public Security Bureau of Chuxiong Prefecture, and on July 7 of the same year she was arrested. She is currently being held in detention at the Chuxiong Detention Center.
Defense counsel Zhang Tingyuan is a lawyer at the Chongqing Junrong Law Firm.
In the Chuzhou Procuratorate Second Division Criminal Indictment (2020) No. 11, the People's Procuratorate of Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture charged defendant Wang Yuwen and Wang Liqin committed the crime of inciting subversion of state power, and it filed a public prosecution with this Court on December 15, 2020. This Court formed a collegial panel in accordance with the law, and because this case implicated state secrets, on December 15, 2021 it tried this case in closed court. The People's Procuratorate of Chuxiong assigned Procurators Ma Xiaodou and Zhang Shaohong to appear in court in support of the public prosecution, and defendant Wang Yuwen and his defense counsel Zhang Lei and defendant Wang Liqin and her defense counsel Zhang Tingyuan appeared in court to participate in the proceedings. Following discussions and the decisions of this Court's adjudicative committee, the trial has now concluded.
The public prosecution agency charged that from 2016 to January 2020, defendant Wang Yuwen used manufacturing rumors and defamation to incite subversion of state power and overthrow the socialist order, made statements under the name "Wang Zang" on foreign websites and the Independent Chinese Writers PEN website that attacked the Party and the government, distributed articles that smeared the State regime socialist system, and on several occasions gave interviews to foreign media and distributed and reposted poems, articles, and images on foreign websites that attacked the Party and the government, and smeared the State regime and socialist system. Defendant Wang Liqin participated and helped Wang Yuwen organize some of the articles and materials that incited subversion of state power and the overthrow the socialist order, and took photos. The evidence determining the aforementioned facts has been proven by physical and documentary evidence, forensic opinions, crime scene investigations, investigation records, audio-visual materials, electronic data, and the defendants' statements and justifications.
The public prosecution agency alleged that defendants Wang Yuwen and Wang Liqin used manufacturing rumors and defamation to incite subversion of state power and overthrow the socialist order, and that the acts of these two individuals were the commission of an offense under the provisions of Articles 105, 25, 26, and 27 of the "Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China," that criminal facts are clear, the evidence is reliable and copious, and they should bear criminal liability for committing the crime of inciting subversion of state power. The two were joint offenders, with Wang Yuwen playing the primary role in the commission of the crime, and he was the principal offender. The public prosecution agency submitted a sentencing recommendation that Wang Yuwen be sentenced to a fixed term imprisonment of four years and deprivation of political rights, and that Wang Liqin be sentenced to a fixed term imprisonment of two years and deprivation of political rights.
Defendant Wang Yuwen argued that his speech was merely extreme, and it did not constitute the commission of a crime. His defense counsel proffered the defense opinion that Wang Yuwen's distribution of articles and poems on foreign websites and giving interviews to foreign broadcasters did not constitute the commission of the crime of inciting subversion of state power.
Defendant Wang Liqin argued that her speech was merely extreme, and it did not constitute the commission of a crime. Her defense counsel proffered these defense opinions:
1. Wang Liqin did not participate in Wang Yuwen's creation, use ,and release of the articles and materials involved in the case, and only provided general labor services.
2. In this case there were no case opening materials with respect to Wang Liqin. Therefore, the investigation activities in this case violated procedures, and the materials thus obtained should be excluded as illegal evidence.
3. The Seizure Decision stated that the public security agency only seized Wang Liqin's gold Apple mobile phone. However, the electronic data inspection records showed that Wang Liqin also holds a white Apple mobile phone, the source of which is unknown, and the electronic data inspection records cannot be used as the basis for concluding the case.
Wang Liqin's actions should not bear criminal liability, and if Wang Liqin is found to have committed a crime, she requests to be exempted from criminal punishment.
It was ascertained at trial that from 2016 to January 2020, defendant Wang Yuwen did, in an attempt to incite subversion of state power and overthrow the socialist order, on many occasions distribute, repost, and disseminate articles, poems, and images under the name "Wang Zang" on foreign media including foreign broadcasters and the Independent Chinese Writers PEN website that attacked the State regime and socialist system and denigrated the Party and the government, and gave interviews to foreign media and made statements that smeared and denigrated the Party and the State. Wang Yuwen was also elected as the president of the Independent Chinese Writers PEN in June 2018. Under the instruction and guidance of Wang Yuwen, defendant Wang Liqin participated and helped Wang Yuwen organize and photograph some of the articles, poems, pictures, and photos inciting subversion of state power and the overthrow the socialist order.
The aforementioned facts were determined by the following evidence:
1. The case registration form, petition to open a case report, Decision to Open a Case, apprehension process, case clue origins and case resolution circumstances confirmed that on July 7, 2019, the Public Security Bureau of Chuxiong received a notification from its superiors that Wang Yuwen was suspected of posting harmful information attacking the Party and the government on a foreign website. It subsequently opened a case investigation and obtained evidence of defendants Wang Yuwen and Wang Liqin committing crimes. The public security civil police apprehended Wang Yuwen and Wang Liqin on May 30 and June 17, 2020, respectively.
2. The proof of household registration from the Kaifa District police precinct of the Public Security Bureau of Chuxiong and the household registration summary and proof of household registration of the Sankou police precinct of the Guannan Public Security Bureau in Jiangsu confirmed identities of defendants Wang Yuwen and Wang Liqin and that Wang Liqin had no criminal record of illegal crimes in her place of household registration.
3. The call list provided by Chuxiong Branch of China Mobile Communications Group Yunnan Co., Ltd., confirmed that on June 17, 2020 the mobile phone number used by Wang Liqin and seized by the public security agency in accordance with the law was used to call the number displayed as Washington, District of Columbia, USA.
4. The Judicial Forensic Institute of the Second People's Hospital in Chuxiong Prefecture's Chu Second Department Judicial Forensic Institute (2020) Forensic Determination No. 028 Judicial Forensic Opinion and Forensic Opinion Notice confirmed that based on a forensic diagnosis, defendant Wang Liqin had full criminal capacity in this case. The public security agency has already notified defendant Wang Liqin of the forensic opinion.
5. Search records, search site orientation diagrams, search photos, and search lists confirmed that on May 30, 2020 public security civil police conduct a search at the residence of Wang Yuwen and Wang Liqin at Chuxiong Room 602, Unit 1, Building 1, Jiang'an Shangpin District, Donggua Town, Weichu Avenue, Chuxiong and seized 1 power bank, 1 CD, 2 SIM unlock cards, 3 SIM cards, 1 portable computer, 1 wallet, 1 purse, 1 "Lenovo" mobile phone, 1 "Laolefu" player , a rose gold iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone X with white back, an iPhone X with rose gold back, an iPhone 6A1586 with gold back, a white Samsung G9280, and a "Lenovo" mobile phone.
6. Identification records and photos confirmed that based on defendant Wang Yuwen's identification of 10 different mobile phones, he identified that the No. 2 and No. 5 Apple mobile phones were used by himself. Among them, the Apple 6S Plus mobile phone marked No. 2 was the mobile phone he used to accept foreign radio interviews, forward tweets, and publish poems.
7. Electronic data investigation records, crime scene investigation inspection photos, and remote crime scene investigation work records, confirmed that the public security agency collected relevant electronic data from the multiple mobile phones possessed by defendants Wang Yuwen and Wang Liqin, as well as on websites and other communications, businesses, and emails.
8. The Ministry of Public Security's Physical Evidence Forensic Center's Forensic Matter Affirmation, Public Physical Evidence Forensic (2020) No. 1183 Forensic Report, and Forensic Opinion Notification confirmed that based on forensics, the speaker in the sample audio file submitted for inspection was Wang Yuwen. The public security agency has notified defendant Wang Yuwen of the forensic opinion.
9. Defendants Wang Yuwen and Wang Liqin's identification of screen shots confirmed that the collected social media accounts and pages were those used by Wang Yuwen, that Wang Yuwen had given interviews to foreign broadcasters, and that the Independent Chinese PEN Center 2016 Award acceptance speech article was written by him.
10. Defendant Wang Yuwen's statement: I climbed the wall to the foreign Internet to browse information, and register on social media platforms. I now use two mobile phones and have two WeChat accounts. I gave interviews to foreign media many times under the name of the poet "Wang Zang." I posted photos on foreign social media that were taken by Wang Liqin at my behest using my phone. I am dissatisfied with the current social system in China. The acceptance speech of the Independent Chinese PEN Center was stored for me by Wang Li on the phone she was using. I published poems on my personal page under the name of "Wang," and Wang Liqin used her mobile phone to save them for me with goal of sharing these poems. She knew that I wrote articles and poems to be distributed on foreign media. The poems and drawings I published reflected my political stance and expressed my dissatisfaction with the Party and the State.
In addition, a letter of guarantee, a letter of repentance, a letter of remorse, and a letter of further repentance and reflection written by the other defendant Wang Yuwen confirmed that from July 2019 to August 2020, Wang Yuwen personally wrote a letter of guarantee and letters of repentance expressing his voluntary repentance and guaranteeing that he would abide by the law.
11. Defendant Wang Liqin's statements: I use two mobile phones and two WeChat accounts, my WeChat name is "Wang Li." In January, 2020, during Covid-19, because Wang Yuwen repeatedly posted negative news about the epidemic on foreign websites, the police went to Wang Yuwen's house and Wang Yuwen refused to open the door. Wang Yuwen asked me to take a video of the whole process with my mobile phone, and I posted this video in my WeChat circle of friends. The background photo of Wang Yuwen supporting Hong Kong's Occupy Central on the foreign website was taken by me for him. I share an ID with Wang Yuwen, which stores the materials I help Wang Yuwen organize. Everything that is in his phone is in my phone
The aforementioned evidence has been presented and examined in court, and its provenance was legal, the content was objectively factual and able to be mutually corroborated. It is affirmed by this Court and is sufficient to reach a determination.
This Court finds that over a long period of time and on many occasions defendant Wang Yuwen gave interviews to foreign media, and distributed, reposted, and disseminated articles, poems, images, photos, and statements on foreign websites and media that attacked the State regime and socialist system, and smeared and defamed the State regime. At the instigation and arrangement of Wang Yuwen, defendant Wang Liqin participated and assisted Wang Yuwen in organizing some of articles and images and taking some relevant photographs with the intent to incite subversion of state power. The actions of these two individuals constitutes the commission of the crime of inciting subversion of state power, and the criminal facts and offenses charged by public prosecution agency are established.
In the commission of this joint crime Wang Yuwen played the primary role and is the principal offender. Wang Liqin played a secondary role and is an accessory, and should be given a lighter punishment.
Wang Yuwen and Wang Liqin proffered the justification that their speech was merely extreme, and it did not constitute the commission of a crime. Wang Yuwen's defense counsel proffered the defense opinion that Wang Yuwen's distributing articles, poems on foreign networks and giving interviews to foreign broadcasters did not constitute the commission of the crime of inciting subversion of state power. Wang Liqin's defense counsel proffered the defense opinion that Wang Liqin only provided general labor services, and did not participate in Wang Yuwen's creation, use ,and release of the articles and materials involved in the case. These do not comport with the facts ascertained at trial, and are not accepted by this Court.
Defendant Wang Liqin's defense counsel proffered the defense opinion that there were no case opening materials in Wang Liqin's case, and therefore the investigation activities in this case violated procedures, and any materials obtain from that is illegal evidence that should be excluded. Based on an investigation, during its investigation the public security agency discovered defendant Wang Liqin was suspected of being a criminal accessory, and combined this case with an ongoing investigation, and this complied with the provisions of Article 21(2)(ii) and (iv) of the "Public Security Agency Procedures for Handling Criminal Cases." This defense opinion cannot be established.
Defendant Wang Liqin's defense counsel proffered the defense opinion that Seize Decision stated that the public security agency only seized one of Wang Liqin's gold Apple mobile phones, but the electronic data inspection records showed that Wang Liqin also had a white Apple mobile phone, and the origin of that mobile phone is not clear, and the electronic data inspection records cannot be used as a basis for a case determination. Based on an investigation, that mobile phone was taken into custody by the public security agency at the second defendant's residence, and after examining the electronic data on the mobile phone, it was found that the device's name was "Wang Liqin iphone," and in it was a record of the second defendant's usage. The electronic data inspection is an objective record of crime scene investigation inspection results. This defense opinion cannot be established.
In accordance with Wang Yuwen's and Wang Liqin's criminal facts and sentencing circumstances, this Court adopts a portion of the sentencing recommendations proffered by the public prosecution agency for the second defendant, and does not accept the defense opinion of innocence or immunity from criminal punishment proffered by the defense counsel for the second defendant.
On this basis, and in accordance with the provisions of Articles 105(2), 55, 56(1), 25(1), 26(1) and (4), 27, and 64 of the "Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China," the judgment is as follows:
1. Defendant Wang Yuwen committed the crime of inciting subversion of state power and is sentenced to a fixed term imprisonment of four years and two years deprivation of political rights. (The prison term is to be calculated starting on the day the judgment is executed, with one day of the sentence to be offset for each day being held in custody prior to the execution of this judgment, that is from May 31, 2020 to May 30, 2024.)
2. Defendant Wang Liqin committed the crime of inciting subversion of state power and is sentenced to a fixed term imprisonment of two years and six months, and one year deprivation of political rights. (The prison term is to be calculated starting on the day the judgment is executed, with one day of the sentence to be offset for each day being held in custody prior to the execution of this judgment, that is from June 17, 2020 to December 16, 2022.)
3. The 4 mobile phones transferred along with the case as the criminal tools are confiscated.
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 High People's Court of Yunnan. A written appeal should be submitted with one original and two copies of the appeal brief.
November 7, 2022
Chief Adjudicator Huang Nuxiong
Adjudicator Du Mei
Adjudicator Xu Xuelin
Judge's Assistant Chen Yunjiang
Clerk Wang Yanhong