Friday, January 29, 2021

Translation: Sheng Zhonghua Judgment for Tweets That Disturbed the Peace

Translator' Notes:

  • 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

Criminal Judgment

(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

大连市甘井子区人民法院

刑事判决书

(2020)辽0211刑初459号


公诉机关大连市甘井子区人民检察院。

被告人盛中华,男,1980年3月19日生,公民身份号汉族,大学文化,无职业,户籍所在地辽宁省大连市,现住址同户籍地。因本案,于2020年5月15日被大连市公安局甘井子分局刑事拘留,于2020年6月18日被逮捕。现羁押于大连市看守所。

指定辩护人苏环海,辽宁利金律师事务所律师。

大连市甘井子区人民检察院以甘检公诉刑诉[2020]460号起诉书指控被告人盛中华涉嫌寻衅滋事罪,于2020年9月3日向本院提起公诉。本院受理后,依法组成合议庭,公开开庭进行了审理。大连市甘井子区人民检察院指派检察官张富丽、检察官助理刘忠林出庭支持公诉,被告人盛中华及辩护人均到庭参加了诉讼。现已审理终结。

大连市甘井子区人民检察院指控,被告人盛中华于2019年3月在美国社交网络推特(Twitter)网站上注册用户名为kinglock@ikinglockjoe的账号。2019年3月至2019年6月,盛中华在位于大连市的家中,使用该账号网络翻墙登录推特网站转发、散布139条侮辱党和国家领导人以及涉及国内重大事件的不当言论和虚假信息。

该账号因上述违法行为被相关部门冻结后,其于2019年8月再次注册名为卡西麗kinglock10的推特账号,之后设置隐私权限并再行转发30余条侮辱党和国家领导人以及涉及国内重大事件的不当言论和虚假信息。

公诉机关向本院提供了书证、证人证言、被告人的供述与辩解、勘验、检查笔录等证据支持其指控。

公诉机关认为,被告人盛中华在公共场所起哄闹事,造成公共秩序严重混乱,犯罪事实清楚,证据确实、充分,应当以寻衅滋事罪追究刑事责任。提请本院依法判处。

被告人盛中华对公诉机关指控的犯罪事实,罪名均无异议,当庭表示自愿认罪。其辩称上推特是为了看国外的信息和新闻,不都是围绕国内虚假信息的内容,在其转发的1000多条信息中仅有100多条关于侮辱国家领导人信息,只占10%,主观不是蓄意转发侮辱国家领导人的言论,转发时没有意识到这个问题。其另一个帐户设置了隐私权限,仅是因为喜欢收藏,主观目的不是为了传播。

其辩护人的辩护意见为,同意被告人的意见。被告人系初犯,无前科,到案后认罪态度较好,有悔罪表现,并如实供述,请求对其从轻或减轻处罚。

经审理查明,被告人盛中华于2019年3月在美国社交网络推特(Twitter)网站上注册用户名为kinglock@ikinglockjoe的账号。2019年3月至2019年6月期间,盛中华在位于大连市的家中,使用该账号网络翻墙登录推特网站,转发、散布了139条侮辱党和国家领导人以及涉及国内重大事件的不当言论和虚假信息,引发大量评论、转发和点赞,造成恶劣影响。2020年5月14日,被告人经公安机关电话传唤到案后,如实供述了上述行为。

上述事实,有业经庭审质证并经本院审查采信的案件来源、到案经过、户籍证明、前科查询证明、入所健康检查表、情况说明等书证、证人宋苏苏、宋等人的证言、被告人盛中华的供述与辩解、大连市公安局甘井子分局网安大队远程勘验工作记录等证据在卷佐证,足以认定。

本院认为,被告人盛中华明知是编造侮辱、污蔑党和国家领导人的虚假信息,而在信息网络上散布,起哄闹事,造成公共秩序严重混乱,其行为已构成寻衅滋事罪。公诉机关指控的事实及罪名成立。被告人经电话传唤到案后如实供述了转发过不当言论的行为,虽然对其实施犯罪行为的性质及主观认识有辩解,但不影响认定为自首,依法从轻处罚。公诉机关的量刑建议适当,应予采纳。综上所述,依据《中华人民共和国刑法》第二百九十三条第一款、第六十七条、最高人民法院、最高人民检察院《关于办理利用信息网络实施诽谤等刑事案件适用法律若干问题的解释》第五条之规定,判决如下:

被告人盛中华犯寻衅滋事罪,判处有期徒刑十个月。

(刑期从判决执行之日起计算。判决执行以前先行羁押的,羁押一日折抵刑期一日。即自2020年5月15日始至2021年3月14日止。)

如不服本判决,可在接到判决书的第二日起十日内,通过本院或者直接向辽宁省大连市中级人民法院提出上诉。书面上诉的,应交上诉状正本一份,副本两份。

审判长 高扬
人民陪审员 邢爱娟
人民陪审员 孙燕

二零二一年一月二十九日

书记员 孙雯尧

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