英文翻译:谭作人涉嫌煽动颠覆国家政权案 — 夏霖、浦志强两位律师的一审辩护词

夏霖、浦志强两位律师的一审辩护词(转载)

作者:肖雪慧 来源:作者博客 2009-08-17

受王庆华女士之托,公布夏霖、浦志强两位律师的一审辩护词。两位律师在遭受百般刁难的情况下,忍辱负重,以异常克制的态度,在断断续续中坚持发表完辩护词。

辩护词本应照原文发布,无奈,其中包含网上过滤词,为了不难为网管,我对相关词作了一些技术处理。这是一份很珍贵的法律文献,所有关心谭案的人都应该看到。

——肖雪慧特此说明并请广为转帖

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谭作人涉嫌煽动颠覆国家政权案

一审辩护词

谭作人案合议庭:

北京市华一律师事务所依法接受本案被告谭作人的委托,指派律师夏霖、浦志强担任谭作人的一审辩护人。接受委托后,我们查阅了案件材料,会见了被告人,进行了大量的调查取证工作。经过法庭调查,我们认为,控方对谭作人的指控不能成立。针对控方起诉书及庭前交换的证据材料,我们发表辩护意见如下:

一、关于控方指控的谭作人撰写《1989:见证最后的美丽—— 一个目击者的广场日记》文章及定性问题

控方指称:“被告人谭作人对党中央处理‘六x事件’方法和定性不满,多年来以各种方式从事所谓纪念‘六x的活动。2007527日,谭作人炮制了一篇题为:‘1989:见证最后的美丽——一个目击者的广场日记’文章,并将该文通过互联网发布在境外‘自由圣火’等网站,该文主要内容为对党中央处理‘六x事件’进行歪曲描述和诽谤。”

诽谤”的词典释义是:“无中生有,说人坏话,毁人名誉;诬蔑”(见《现代汉语词典》19831月第2版第315页)。控方对谭作人“歪曲描述和诽谤”的指控,是一种事实评价,涉及到谭作人文章内容是否真实的问题。

法庭调查业已查明,《1989:见证最后的美丽—— 一个目击者的广场日记》作于2007527日,系谭作人为回应香港民建联主席马力有关“六x问题的言论有感而作,其目的是为了澄清事实(见讯问笔录四)。而马力言论发表后,民建联副主席刘江华表示,马力言论并不代表民建联立场,并愿意代为致歉。

本文系谭作人作为目击者对“六x事件”前后,根据本人回忆撰写的回忆文章。控方指控谭作人在文章中进行“歪曲描述和诽谤”,既未随案提交相关证据,庭审中也未“进行正确描述”,何以指证谭作人所述为虚构?

起诉书称谭作人“多年来以各种方式从事所谓纪念‘六x的活动”,却未有任何证据证明其指控。而据庭审中谭作人自述,其在2007年马力发表言论之前并未以任何方式纪念“六x,何来“多年”,何来“各种方式”?

辩方认为:控方对被告谭作人此项指控空泛,并无事实与证据支撑,且无法律依据,显然应当驳回。

二、关于控方指控的谭作人与“境外敌对分子”王丹联系,并建议发起义务献血活动的问题

控方指称:“文章刊登不久,境外敌对分子王丹利用电子邮箱与其主动联系,并多次向其投发关于“六x的宣传资料。

20086x日,被告人谭作人,与他人在我市天府广场义务献血点以献血的方式纪念‘六x,期间还接受了境外敌对媒体‘希望之声’的电话采访。

200811月以来,王丹多次向其投发了纪念“六x进行所谓二十周年活动的相关资料。2009210日被告人谭作人,向王丹发了一份《六x20周年念活动建议》电子邮件,建议在今年‘六x期间实施所谓的‘六x全球华人义务献血活动’,以纪念‘六x二十年。”

针对此项控告,辩方认为:

(一)煽动颠覆国家政权的犯罪手段,是以公开方式向不特定的多数人进行鼓动。控方提出的本项事实,系王丹与谭作人的私人电邮往来,不符合本罪的公开性、被煽动对象的不特定性等特征;

(二)王丹的“境外敌对分子”身份,未经国家公示宣告,被告人并不知情;且详查我国刑法,并无“与境外敌对分子通信罪”之罪名。控方已然将王丹定性为“境外敌对分子”,且根据控方陈述,系王丹主动、多次以电子邮件群发方式向其发送涉及“六x的资料。

详查通信双方历来的政治态度与行为,指控王丹煽动谭作人尚在情理之中;而今居然指控谭作

人企图煽动王丹,显然有悖逻辑与情理。控方显系指控错误。

(三)谭作人建议发起的“六x全球华人义务献血活动”,王丹并未回应、推广。20086月,谭作人义务献血一事,察其主观意图是“把我们的爱心献给孩子,把我们的信心献给朋友,把我们的决心献给祖国”,其客观行为是向大地震灾区伤员献血。(以上事实见控方《随案移送证据》)

辩方认为,谭作人的主观意愿与客观行为,根本不具备任何社会危害性,相反是值行提倡与鼓励的社会公益行为,更与犯罪无缘。

三、关于控方指控的谭作人发表的5.12地震有关言论的问题

法庭调查表明:20085.12地震发生后,被告谭作人多次接受境内外媒体采访,也多次为他们采访调查当向导,如新华社、《瞭望东方周刊》、《第一财经日报》、《人与生物圈》等杂志,及香港政府所属的香港电台。无论接受境内或境外媒体采访,谭作人的言论都是始终如一的。

而控方却独独强调“谭作人多次接受境外媒体采访,发表了大量严重诋毁我党和政府形象的言论”,显有断章取义,陷人入罪之嫌。

针对此项控告,辩方认为:

(一)控方的控诉非常抽象空洞,一次抛出谭作人的22篇计约数万字采访稿作为证据,察其全文,关涉党和政府救灾之语,扬其长而不溢美,纠其短而不虚饰,到底是哪章、哪句涉嫌煽动颠覆?我们实在无从知晓。

22篇文章,系控方从谭作人私人电脑中搜罗而来,系谭作人自行编辑置于电脑“我的文档”之内,无一是媒体采访的原件。如此“重案”,何以如此草率,怎可将此文稿视为原件而作为刑事诉讼的证据使用?

(二)庭审查明,谭作人为环保组织“绿色江河”的副秘书长,长期关注西南地区水电建设问题,其发表的关于地震的言论,系从专业角度分析5.12地震的诱因及可预测性,具有科学依据成分,并有大量证据支持。相关证据辩方已向法庭提交。

且四川省地矿局区域地质调查队总工程师范晓、四川大学建筑与环境学院教授艾南山,愿作为辩方证人出庭作证,此时二位专家正在庭外等候,惜为合议庭断然拒绝,我们对此深表遗憾。

(三)庭审表明,谭作人于5.12地震后,在地震灾区对死难学生数目及校舍垮塌原因,进行了先后23次、50余天的现场调查,掌握了大量第一手材料,并在此基础上进行了客观陈述。

其调查表明,震区多所学校都系脆性倒塌,谭作人所述“豆腐渣工程”确实存在。谭作人就此呼吁,彻查校舍垮塌原因、追究相关人士法律责任,天灾不能成为掩盖人祸的托辞。如此言论何错之有,又安能指其为犯罪?

在大量学生死亡场景刺激之下,谭作人或有激愤之词,亦有对教育部门斥责;但辩护人提醒控方:批评并非煽动颠覆,教育部门也无从代表国家政权。以此指控谭作人煽动颠覆国家政权,何其荒谬?

四、关于控方对谭作人行为的法律定性问题

控方认为:“被告人谭作人为了达到颠覆国家政权、推翻社会主义制度的目的而无中生有,捏造消息,散布有损于国家政权和社会主义制度的言论,以损害国家政权和社会主义制度在人民心中的形象。其行为已触犯《中华人民共和国刑法》第一百零五条之规定,犯罪事实清楚,证据确实、充分。应以煽动颠覆国家政权罪追究被告人谭作人刑事责任。”

辩方再次提请合议庭注意,控方将谭作人所做的种种事实陈述,指控为“无中生有,捏造消息”,却并未提交任何与谭作人所述相悖的证据,对指控进行佐证。如控方无法提交相关证据,则其陈述的事实部分不足采信。

以下,辩方对控方本项指控中的法律定性问题提出三点辩护意见:

(一)谭作人的涉案言论系公民批评建议权的正当行使,而非煽动颠覆国家政权,不符合本罪的认定标准

该项罪名于刑法体例中,被置于第一章“危害国家安全罪”之下,究其立法本意,本罪认定标准应以危害国家安全为限。

言论如何危害国家安全?国际社会广泛认可的《关于国家安全、言论自由和获取信息的约翰内斯堡原则》作出了解释。

其中原则5规定:“对保有观点的保护任何人,不得因其观点或信仰而受到任何形式的限制、歧视或制裁。”

原则6规定:“可能威胁国家安全的表达,在遵循原则15和原则16的前提下,威胁国家安全的表达可受制裁,只要政府能证明:(1)该表达意图激起即将发生的暴力;(2)该表达有可能引起这样的暴力;并且(3)在该表达与该暴力的发生或与该暴力发生的可能性之间存在着某种直

接且紧迫的联系。”

我国法律体系当中,并无关于本罪的立法解释及司法解释,故此项国际社会广泛认可的学理解释,可以成为审判的重要依据。经查谭作人的涉案言论,并无任何煽动及可能激起暴力的字句;相反,谭作人一贯的政治主张,是和平的、渐进式的社会改良,其客观效果是维护而非危害国家安全,当然不能符合本罪的认定标准。

我国宪法第四十一条规定:“中华人民共和国公民对于任何国家机关和国家工作人员,有提出批评和建议的权利”。辩方认为,谭作人的涉案言论,属于公民批评建议权的正当行使,理应得到我国宪法的保护,如何能施以“煽动颠覆”的欲加之罪?

(二)谭作人并无煽动颠覆国家政权的主观故意

本罪在主观方面表现为故意,行为人主观上必须具有煽动不特定人或多数人实施颠覆国家政权、推翻社会主义制度的动机。

辩护人认为,要查明行为人的主观动机,需要结合其客观表现,进行长期的、历史的考察。法庭调查表明,且公诉人也已承认不讳:谭作人热心于社会公益,长期以来以其专业能力为政府科学行政作出了卓越贡献。主要事实有:

1996年-1997年在成都市政府凤凰山开发办任总策划,先后主持策划四川国际康复中心、成都市养老托老中心、成都市暂住公寓等项目;

受邀为郫县县政府策划锦官城旅游区、蜀都后花园等项目;

1998年受邀为四川省社科院策划“百千万跨世纪人才工程”;

1999年策划并参与长江源环保纪念碑建设工程;

2000年策划四川省展览馆转型进行策划;

2001年被《成都日报》评为“成都市文明市民”;

2002年策划并实施《百年沧桑·成都巨变》大型影展、在省人大立法咨询会上提出保护大熊猫的立法建议案并获采纳、参加“小平故居旅游区”建设规划;

2004年受邀为金牛区策划金沙遗址公园方案;

2005年在市政府专题会上提交“天府美食公园”方案并被列为市重点筹划项目、为省文化厅策划组织“文化创意产业论坛”、修改充实《成都市都市文化旅游产业规划》、参与市委宣传部多次重要会议、参与“南水北调西线工程”考察调研;

2006年受托编制《成都市东郊创意产业园》概念设计;

2007年主持“成都市民族文化旅游发展规划”课题、其“柏条河调研”、“小西线”调研得到温家宝总理批示认可;

2008年为西昌市政府策划“文化旅游一条街”项目、撰写关于彭州石化问题工程的学术报告并发布《关于彭州石化工程的公民建议书》送有关部门参阅;

2009年参与“5.12遇难学生情况调查”。

以上事实足资证明,谭作人二十年来的主要工作,服务于成都市乃至整个四川省的城市建设、科学规划与经济发展,大大提升了政府的施政形象。无论是作为一位中国公民,抑或作为一位具有卓越贡献的专家,谭作人当然具备对政府不适当行政的批评资格。而这种善意、诚实而中肯的批评,如何能够恶意理解为煽动颠覆国家政权?

(三)谭作人的行为及言论并未侵犯本罪犯罪客体

众所周知,我国国家政权的性质是人民民主专政制度,即广大人民通过民主的手段掌握国家政权。所谓颠覆国家政权,便是意图以反民主的手段,对人民民主制度进行破坏。

纵观谭作人的涉案文章,其中心思想都是热爱人民、呼吁民主、抨击专制。谭作人先生是人民民主的倡导者、维护者而非颠覆者、破坏者。以煽动颠覆国家政权对其定罪,是不符合我国国家政权的基本性质的。

五、结辩

综上所述,足资证明:控方所指控的谭作人的涉案言论及行为,无一满足我国刑法一百零五条煽动颠覆国家政权罪的犯罪构成。意图以本罪指控谭作人先生,在事实上缺乏证据、在法律上毫无逻辑、在政治上不够正确、在社会影响上将陷党和中央政府于不义。

四川自古人文荟萃,成都历来英雄辈出。我们相信,四川方面有充分的政治智慧处理谭作人案。谨在此引用成都武侯祠对联,赠与相关方面:“能攻心则反侧自消,自古知兵非好战;不审势即宽严皆误,后来治蜀要深思。”

辩方恳请合议庭审势深思,依据中华人民共和国刑事诉讼法第一百六十二条之规定,宣告被告人谭作人无罪。

辩护人:北京市华一律师事务所律师

夏霖 浦志强

2009812日 

Tan Zuoren Defense Plea English Translation

After the August 2009 trial of Tan Zuoren there circulated on the Internet in China, and being constantly deleted on Chinese websites, the defense plea in his case.  Tan’s one day trial was held on August 12 in Chengdu.  Huang Qi’s trial was on August 6.

Searches on the Internet on  Tan Zuoren in characters  谭作人  bring up  some blogs that used to have the defense plea.  Sometimes the plea can be found by clicking on the cache (kuai zhao 快 照) on a Chinese search engine.

A check of Google.cn Trends (picture attached) and blogsearch showed how many fewer postings were appearing on a topic that one would think would be getting hotter and hotter.   Hmmmm.

http://www.google.cn/trends?q=%E8%B0%AD%E4%BD%9C%E4%BA%BA&ctab=0&geo=cn&geor=all&date=2009&sort=0

Usually when you look at the popularity of a search on the web it goes up, flattens and goes down: it doesn’t have its head cut off.

Blogsearch on google.cn, which lets you search within set time limits,  shows a similar picture.

http://blogsearch.google.cn/blogsearch?hl=zh-CN&ie=UTF-8&q=%E8%B0%AD%E4%BD%9C%E4%BA%BA&lr=&as_drrb=q&as_qdr=w

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Defense Plea in the Tan Zuoren Case

Xiao Xuehui blog

August 17, 2009

[At the request of Ms. Wang Qinghua, [note: the wife of Tan Zuoren] the first instance plea of lawyers Xia Lin and Pu Zhiqiang has been released.  The two lawyers faced many obstacles and put up with humiliation in order to carry out their important work with rare perseverance to complete their plea, stopping and starting because they were interrupted many times.  The first instance plea should have been published as an exact copy of the original document.  This is not possible, however, because of web filtering and so in order to defeat the control of the web, we made technical changes in some of the keywords.  This is a very precious legal document. Everyone concerned with the case of Tan Zuoren should read it.

 — Xiao Xuehui made this explanation and requests that this document be reposted on other websites.]

The case of Tan Zuoren Accused of  Incitement to Overthrow State Power

Defense Plea

To the Panel of Judges of the Tan Zuoren case:

The Beijing Huayi Law Office, which was commissioned according to law by the defendant Tan Zuoren, designated the lawyers Xia Lin and Pu Zhiqiang to make the first instance plea. After receiving this commission, we reviewed the case files, interviewed the defendant, and conducted many interviews and conducted many investigations.  We believe that after being reviewed by the court, the accusations brought by the prosecution against Tan Zuoren cannot be proven.   Based on the indictment and evidentiary materials exchanged with the prosecution before the trial, we make the following defense:

I.   With regard to the nature of the article “1989: The Last Beauty I Witnessed — the Tiananmen Diary of an Eyewitness” written by the defendant Tan Zuoren:

The prosecution states that “The accused Tan Zuoren is dissatisfied with the way the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party handled the”June X Incident” and the conclusions it drew about that incident.   For many years,  he has been carrying out in many ways “June X” commemorative activities.  On May 27, 2007, Tan Zuoren concocted an article entitled “1989: The Last Beauty I Witnessed — the Tiananmen Diary of an Eyewitness” and distributed it through the internet to the website outside of mainland China’s borders “The Torch of Liberty” as well as to other websites.  The main points of this article provide a distorted account of the “June X Incident” and to libel the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee’s handling of it.¡±

The definition of “libel” in the dictionary is “making something out of nothing, saying bad things about a person, damaging a person’s reputation, slandering someone” (See Modern Chinese Language Dictionary, Second Edition, P. 315, published January 1983.)  The prosecution’s charge that the defendant Tan Zuoren “made a distorted account and committed libel” is a matter to evaluate according to the facts and as to whether the contents of Tan Zuoren’s article are true.

The court investigation has already determined that “1989;  The Last Beauty I Witnessed — the Tiananmen Diary of an Eyewitness” was written on May 27, 2007 and is his personal response to statements about the “June X Incident” by Ma Li,  Chairman of the Hong Kong Popular Alliance.  The purpose of the article was to make the facts clear (see interrogation record).

However, after Ma Li made that statement, the Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Popular Alliance, Liu Jianghua said that Ma Li’s statement did not represent the views of the Popular Alliance and wanted to apologize on his behalf.  Tan Zuoren wrote this article based upon his  memories as an eyewitness of the period leading up to and following the “June X Incident”.   The prosecution in its accusation states that Tan Zuoren “made a distorted and libelous account” but has not presented evidence to support that accusation.  Nor  has it in court “made an accurate account”, so how can Tan Zuoren be accused to writing falsehoods?

ccording to the indictment,  Tan Zuoren has “for many years in many ways conducted activities  commemorating “June X” but has presented no evidence to support this charge.  Moreover, according to Tan Zuoren’s own account during interrogation in court, before the 2007 statement of Ma Li, he had not conducted any commemoration of “June X”.  So what is the basis of “for many years” and what is the basis of “in many ways”?

The defense believes that this prosecution charge against the defendant Tan Zuoren is vague, untrue and not supported by the evidence.

The charge cannot be proved according to law and so should clearly be rejected.

II.   With regard to the prosecution’s accusation that Tan Zuoren communicated with the “enemy element outside China’s borders” Wang Dan and suggested that voluntary blood donation drives be conducted.

According to the prosecution¡¯s accusation, “Shortly after the article was published, the enemy element outside China’s borders Wang Dan contacted him by e-mail and on several occasions sent him propaganda materials about the “June X” incident.

On June X, 2008, the accused Tan Zuoren together with others in Chengdu’s Tianfu Square conducted a voluntary blood donation drive to commemorate “June X” by donating blood.  Shortly thereafter, he was interviewed by the telephone by the media outside mainland China’s borders “Voice of Hope”.  Since November 2008, Wang Dan on several occasions sent him materials on activities to commemorate the so-called twentieth anniversary of the “June X” incident.  On February 10, 2009, the accused Tan Zuoren sent Wang Dan an email “Suggestions on the Twentieth Anniversary of June X” suggesting that during this year’s “June X” period conducting so-called “June X Worldwide Chinese Voluntary Blood Drives” in order to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of “June X”.

With respect to this charge, the defense believes:

1.   Criminal methods of incitement to overthrow state power involves the open encouragement of a group of two or more people.  The facts presented in this accusation involve a private email between Wang Dan and Tan Zuoren.  This is not in accord with the open nature of this crime and that the incitement be directed at a group of two or more people.

2.  The designation of Wang Dan as an “enemy element outside of China’s borders” has not been officially announced by the state and the defendant is not aware of this.  Moreover, a search of PRC criminal law did not turn up a crime of “communicating with enemy elements outside of China’s borders”.  The prosecution has already determined that Wang Dan is “an enemy element outside of China’s borders” and according to the accusation statement, Wang Dan took the initiative to send to a mailing list materials on “June X”.  Considering the political attitudes and behavior of the two people involved in the communication, it could be claimed that Wang Dan was inciting Tan Zuoren but surely it would be nonsense to suppose that the accused Tan Zuoren sought to incite Wang Dan.  This is clearly absurd nonsense. This accusation by the prosecution is obviously mistaken.

III.  With respect to the prosecution charge that Tan Zuoren made statements about the May 12th Earthquake

The court investigation states that after the May 12 earthquake, the accused Tan Zuoren was interviewed several times by media from both inside and outside China’s borders and on many occasions acted as a guide to assistant them in their interviews and investigations.  These media included Xinhua, Liaowang Oriental Weekly, First Financial Daily,  Humanity and the Biosphere, etc. as well as Hong Kong broadcasters under the Hong Kong government.  No matter whether he was interviewed by media from inside or outside China’s borders, he said the same thing.

However, the prosecution accusation stresses only that “Tan Zuoren on several occasions was interviewed by media from outside China’s borders, and make statements that severely damaged the image of our Party and government” clearly takes things out of context to make these activities look suspicious.

The defense response to these accusations:

1.  The prosecution’s accusations are abstract and empty. The prosecution presented 22 articles that total several tens of thousands of words as evidence.   Looking over these articles, one finds some discussion of the work of the Party and government in earthquake relief.  Tan Zuoren praises them where praise is due but not excessively. He does not pass over their shortcomings in silence but discusses them. Just which chapters and which words have anything to do with subversion?  I really don’t know.

These 22 articles were collected by the prosecution from the private computer of Tan Zuoren were edited by Tan Zuoren himself on his computer in the “My Documents” folder.  None of them are transcripts of media interviews. This being such an “important case” so how could it have been handled so sloppily?  How can these documents be taken as manuscripts that are used as evidence in a criminal case?

2.  The court investigation determined that Tan Zuoren is the deputy secretary-general of the Green Rivers environmental NGO and has long been concerned about the construction of hydroelectric power plants in southwest China.  His statement about the earthquake involved an analysis of the causes of the earthquake how it could have been prevented was from the perspective of an expert.  This analysis is based upon a considerable amount of scientific evidence.  The defense has already provided these materials to the court.  Moreover, two experts on the subject, Fan Xiao, an engineer from the Sichuan Province Mining Bureau Geological Survey Team and Prof. Ai Nanshan of the Sichuan University Construction and Environmental College are willing to testify as defense witnesses in court.  They are now waiting outside the court because unfortunately the court arbitrarily refused to hear them.  We regret this decision.

3.  According to the court record of interrogation, Tan Zuoren after the May 12 earthquake made 23 trips to determine the number of students who were killed in the earthquake as well as the number of school and dormitory buildings that had collapsed.  He spent over 50 days on these survey trips and collected much first-hand material. He made an objective description of the situation based on these trips.

His surveys showed that for many of the schools in the earthquake zone, poorly construction quality led to their collapse. The problem of “bean curd construction” that Tan Zuoren describes certainly exists.  Tan Zuoren urges now that the cause of the collapse of the schools and dormitories be thoroughly investigated, that the people responsible face criminal prosecution, and that a natural disaster should not be an excuse to hide a man-made calamity.  What is wrong with saying this?  And how can anyone be accused of committing a crime by saying this?

Provoked by the deaths of so many students, Tan Zuoren may have said some words in anger and criticized the Ministry of Education.  But the defense wants to remind the prosecution: to criticize is not to incite to overthrow the state.  The Ministry of Education has never represented state power. Therefore nothing could be as ridiculous as this accusation against Tan Zuoren for incitement to overthrow state power.

IV.  The prosecution’s accusation on the legal nature of Tan Zuoren’s behavior.

The prosecution believes that “the indicted Tan Zuoren, in order to achieve his goal of subverting state power and overthrowing the socialist system fabricated things out of whole cloth, distorted news, and spread speech that is injurious to state power and the socialist system in order to hurt the image of state power and the socialist system in the eyes of the people.  This constitutes a crime under article 105 of the Criminal Code of the People’s Republic of China.  The crime is clear, the evidence is certain and abundant.  Tan Zuoren should be prosecuted and convicted of the crime of inciting subversion of state power.”

The defense again reminds the panel of judges that the accused Tan Zuoren, who has made an accurate description of many matters, is accused of “fabricating things out of whole cloth and distorting news”.  However, the prosecution has not yet presented any evidence to contradict what Tan Zuoren has written nor any evidence supporting the accusation.  If the prosecution is unable to present relevant evidence, then some of the matters it has presented as fact are not credible.

The defense presents three opinions on the legal validity of the accusations brought by the prosecution:

1. Tan Zuoren’s speech related to this case is a matter of a citizen exercising his right to make suggestions and criticisms. That speech does not constitute incitement to overthrow the state and does not fit the criteria for that crime.

This crime is found in the first chapter of the criminal code, “Crimes Against State Security”.  Examining that section of the law, it is clear that the definition of this crime is limited to threatening state security.

How can speech threaten state security?  We can find an explanation in “The Johannesburg Principles on National Security, Freedom of Expression and Access to Information” which are widely accepted by international society. Principle Five holds that ¡°Subject to Principles 15 and 16, expression may be punished as a threat to national security only if a government can demonstrate that: (a) the expression is intended to incite imminent violence; (b) it is likely to incite such violence; and (c) there is a direct and immediate connection between the expression and the likelihood or occurrence of such violence.

In China’s legal system no legal or administrative explanation accompanies the legislation on this crime.  Therefore, widely accepted international principles can provide an important reference point for the judging  this case.  The speech of Tan Zuoren relating to this case had no language inciting to overthrow of the state or to violence.  On the contrary, Tan Zuoren’s political views favor gradual and peaceful social progress.  The objective effect of his views does not harm but actually supports state security and so of course do not fall with the legal definition of this crime.

Article 41 of the PRC Constitution stipulates: “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China have the right to criticize and make suggestions to any state organ or functionary.” The defense believes that Tan Zuoren’s speech involved in this case was the normal exercise by a citizen of their right to criticize and make suggestions, and should therefore be protected by the PRC Constitution. How can it be construed as “incitement to overthrow the state”?

2.  Tan Zuoren did not have any subjective intention to incite to overthrown the State.

This crime in its subjective aspect relates to intention, the person committing the act must have the motive of inciting two or more persons to act to overthrow state power and to overthrow the socialist system.

The defense believes that in order to determine the subjective motive of a personal act, one needs to do a historical study of it objective manifestations over a long period.  The court investigation shows that the indicted freely confesses without reservation that he is passionate about the well-being of society and that he has for a long time been making outstanding contributions to political science and administration.

The principal facts are these:

  •  During 1996 – 1997, he served as the chief planner of the Chengdu City government’s Fenghuang Mountain development project and later led the planning work for the Sichuan International Rehabilitation Center and the Chengdu Rest Home and Assistance Center for the Elderly, the Chengdu City Temporary Residence project, and was asked by the Pi County government to design the Jinguancheng Recreation Area, the Shudu Rear Garden and other projects.
  • In 1998, he was asked by the Sichuan Province Academy of Social Sciences to plan the “Great Turn of the Century Human Talent Project”.
  • In 1999 he participated in the Yangtze River Environmental Memorial Construction Project.
  • In 2000 he planned the Sichuan Exhibition Center transformation project;
  • In 2001 he was chosen by the Chengdu Daily as an outstanding citizen of Chengdu;
  • In 2002 he planned and implemented the “Century of Great Changes – Chengdu’s Big Transformation” a major photo exhibition; at the Sichuan Provincial People’s Congress consultative conference his proposal to enact a law to protect the Great Panda was adopted.  He also  participated in the planning for the construction of the “Deng Xiaoping Old Home Tourism District”;
  • In 2004 he was invited by the Chengdu Jinniu District to devise a plan for the Jinsha Ruins Park.  His proposal for the “Tianfu Gourmet Park” was adopted and became a key project for Chengdu.  On behalf of the Sichuan Cultural Bureau he designed and organized a “Culture and the Creative Industries Forum”; revised and made new suggestions for the “Chengdu City Cultural Tourism Industry Plan”, participated in several important meetings organized by the Chengdu City Propaganda Department, participated in the survey and review of the “South to North Water Diversion Project”.
  • In 2006, he was asked to design the “Chengdu City Eastern Suburbs Creative Industries Park” concept;
  • In 2007 he led the “Chengdu Citizen Ethnic Culture Tourism Development Plan”.  His Botiao River Research Project and the research on the “Small Scale Western Waters Diversion” won the approval of Premier Wen Jiabao.
  • In 2008, he designed the Cultural Tourism Street project for the Xichang City government.  He wrote and distributed an academic report on the issues of the Pengzhou City petrochemical plant project entitled “A Citizen’s Suggestion on the Pengzhou City Petrochemical Project” and sent it to the departments concerned.
  • In 2009 he participated in the “May 12 Student Deaths Survey”.

The facts above demonstrate that Tan Zuoren has contributed for the past twenty years to the construction of Chengdu and of Sichuan Province, to scientific planning and to economic planning, all of which have greatly improved the image of the government.  In his capacity as Chinese citizen or as an outstanding expert, Tan Zuoren has also of course criticized some improper administrative actions of the government.  How could these well-intentioned and honest criticisms can be maliciously understood as incitement to overthrow state power?

3.  The behavior and speech of Tan Zuoren do not constitute this crime.

As everyone knows, the character of the PRC government is a “people’s democratic dictatorship”, that is to say the great majority of the people through democratic means hold state power.  Overthrowing state power, then, having the intention to use anti-democratic methods to destroy the system of people’s democracy.  By looking through all of Tan Zuoren’s writings, one can see that he is a person who passionately loves the people,  supports democracy, and is opposed to autocracy.  Mr. Tan Zuoren is a pioneer of people’s democracy and its guardian, not one who would overturn it and destroy it.   To convict him of incitement to overturn state power contradicts the basic character of PRC state political regime.

V.  Summation

The matters described above are sufficient to prove that none of the accusations of the prosecution about the speech and actions of Tan Zuoren constitute the crime described in Article 151 in the PRC Criminal Code of “incitement to overthrow state power”.  The accusation that Mr. Tan Zuoren committed this crime fails for lack of evidence.

Sichuan since ancient times has been a place where cultured people gather.  Many heroes have arisen throughout the history of Chengdu.  We are confident that Sichuan has sufficient political wisdom to handle the Tan Zuoren case.  Let us quote here a couplet from the Wuhou Temple of Chengdu for the people involved in this case:

“Those able to win people’s hearts are able to eliminate their doubts and their worries; from ancient times people knowledgeable in military affairs have avoided fighting whenever possible; those who are not able to judge situations will make mistakes no matter whether they are strict or lenient. Those who govern Sichuan in the future should deeply reflect upon this.”

The defense earnestly requests that the panel of judges reflect deeply and according to Article 162 of the Law of Criminal Procedure of the PRC, and that they find and proclaim the defendant TanZuoren not guilty.

Defense attorneys:  Xia Lin and Pu Zhiqiang

Beijing Municipality Huayi Law Firm

August 12, 2009

This entry was posted in Famous Chinese Political Court Cases 中国政治名案, Law 法律, Society 社会 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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