Translation:People v Qu Zetian (2020)

People v Qu Zetian (2020)
Lüshunkou District People’s Court, translated from Chinese by Wikisource
4303234People v Qu Zetian2020Lüshunkou District People’s Court
Lüshunkou District People’s Court
Dalian, Liaoning, PR China
Criminal Judgement
[2020] Liao 0212 Xing Chu No 215

Prosecution Authority: the People’s Procuratorate of Lüshunkou District, Dalian, Liaoning (the ‘Prosecution’).

The Defendant, Qu Zetian, male, born on 8 August 1992, ID No: 37010319920808 [redacted], Han Chinese, master’s degree, self-employed, currently residing at [redacted], Lüshunkou District, Dalian, Liaoning, with the household registration location at [redacted], Huaiyin District, Jinan, Shandong. The Defendant was captured for the present case on 26 May 2020, criminally detained on 28 May 2020, and formally arrested on 2 July 2020. He is now detained in Dalian Detention Centre.

Defence counsel: Zhang Qingdong and Zhang Yi, lawyers with Liaoning Deyi Law Firm.

On 16 September 2020, the Prosecution filed the present case with this Court by the Indictment [2020] Lüjian Gongsu Xingsu No 204 against the Defendant for committing the crime of picking quarrels and provoking trouble. This Court then formed a collegial panel in compliance with the law and held a public hearing of this case. Assigned by the Prosecution, Prosecutor Zhou Jing and Assistant to the Prosecutor Zhang Qian appeared in court on behalf of the People to present the case. The Defendant and his defence counsel appeared before the court and attended the proceedings. The trial of the case has now been concluded.

The Court, upon trial of this case, ascertains that, between 20 March 2019 and 13 May 2020, the Defendant accessed the website of, signed in to Twitter with the username of ‘OLalDYCadX2gjme’ and posted seven thousand seven hundred and sixty-three (7,763) tweets under the registered username of ‘chutsetien’,[1] of which seventeen (17) tweets were inappropriate remarks of various kinds that related to the Party and the political system and insulted the state leader.

After the crime was committed, the Defendant was captured by the public security organ and brought back to the police station; he then truthfully confessed to the aforesaid criminal facts upon apprehension. One (1) Dell laptop computer and one (1) Sony mobile phone, which were used as instruments of crime by the Defendant, were distrained by the public security organ in accordance with the law and have not been transferred to this Court with the case. The Defendant has voluntarily pleaded guilty and consented to accept punishments, for which the Prosecution holds that his admission of guilt and acceptance of punishments constitute a mitigating circumstance for a lighter punishment and suggests that he shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of seven (7) months.

The aforesaid facts were also not contested by the Defendant during the court hearing, substantiated by such evidence as ‘Household Registration Certificate’, ‘Photos and the Inventory of Distrained Articles’, ‘Binding Declaration on Pleading Guilty and Accepting the Punishments’, ‘Source of the Case’, ‘Course of Capturing’, ‘Work Log of Remote Inspection and Examination’, and ‘Photos of the Identification of the Crime Scene’, are sufficient to establish.

The defence opinions of the defence counsel are as follows: The defenders have no objection to the criminal facts charged in the Indictment. However, considering the Defendant is a first-time offender with no prior criminal record, the volume of information posted is not large, and the readership thereof is small, and since the Defendant truthfully confessed upon apprehension, voluntarily pleaded guilty and consented to accept punishments, the defence counsel, therefore, pleads with the Court for a lighter punishment.

This Court holds that the Defendant had repeatedly released inappropriate remarks on the internet, the circumstances were serious, and his acts have thus constituted the crime of picking quarrels and provoking trouble. The facts charged by the Prosecution are clear, and the evidence is reliable and sufficient; therefore, the charges are established and are thereby supported by this Court. Given that the Defendant truthfully confessed to the criminal facts upon apprehension, voluntarily pleaded guilty and consented to accept punishments, a lighter punishment can be given to him. This Court, therefore, has adopted the defence opinions of the defenders. In accordance with Article 293, Article 64, and Paragraph 3 of Article 67 of The Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, the Court hereby rules that:

I. The Defendant committed the crime of picking quarrels and provoking trouble and is sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of seven (7) months;

(The term of imprisonment shall be counted from the date of execution of the judgement. Where the Defendant is detained on remand prior to the execution of the judgement, one day of such detention shall be credited as one day of the sentence. Thus, the term of imprisonment begins on 26 May 2020 and ends on 25 December 2020.) and

II. The instruments of crime distrained in this case (which have not been transferred to this Court with the case), to wit, one (1) Dell laptop computer and one (1) Sony mobile phone, are to be confiscated and processed by the distraining authority according to law.

If the Defendant refuses to accept the present judgement as final and binding, a petition for appeal may be submitted through this Court or directly to the Dalian Intermediate People’s Court within ten (10) days commencing on the day following the day of receipt of this judgement. In case of a written appeal, one (1) original copy and one (1) duplicated copy of the petition shall be submitted.

This copy is verified to be identical to the original document.
Presiding Judge: Zhang Hui
People’s Juror: Xu Zhen
People’s Juror: Han Yu
Decided on 14 December 2020
Court Clerk: Hao Xue

Appendix: The Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China (excerpts)

Article 293 Whoever commits any of the following acts of causing disturbances, thus disrupting public order, shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than five years, criminal detention, or public surveillance:

(1) Beating another person at will and to a flagrant extent;

(2) Chasing, intercepting, or hurling insults to and threatening another person to a flagrant extent;

(3) Forcibly taking or demanding, wilfully damaging, destroying or occupying publicly-owned or privately-owned money or property to a serious extent; or

(4) Creating disturbances in a public place, thus causing serious disorder in the place.

Whoever musters others to repeatedly commit any act mentioned in the preceding paragraph, thus seriously undermining social order, shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than five years but not more than ten years and may be concurrently fined.

Article 64 All money and property illegally obtained by a criminal shall be recovered, or compensation shall be ordered; the lawful property of the victim shall be returned without delay; contraband and articles of the criminal’s own property that are used in the commission of the crime shall be confiscated. All the confiscated articles and fines shall be turned over to the state treasury, and no-one may misappropriate or privately dispose of them.

Article 67 Voluntary surrender refers to the act of voluntarily delivering oneself up to justice and truthfully confessing one’s crime after one has committed the crime. Any criminal who voluntarily surrenders may be given a lighter or mitigated punishment. The ones whose crimes are relatively minor may be exempted from punishment.

If a criminal suspect or a defendant under compulsory measures or a criminal serving a sentence truthfully confesses his other crimes that the judicial organ does not know, his act shall be regarded as voluntary surrender.

A criminal suspect who truthfully confesses to his crime may be given a lighter punishment even though there is no voluntary surrender, as mentioned in the preceding two paragraphs, and may be given a mitigated punishment if any especially serious consequence is avoided for his truthful confession.

Note edit

1 This is the most faithful translation of the original Chinese text, despite it’s obfuscating in meaning and inconsistent with reality. In reality, the defendant’s Twitter account is the latter one, ‘chutsetien’, while the first one, ‘OLalDYCadX2gjme’, was an account held by the local police office for evidence collection and posting pro-CCP propaganda tweets. This police account was later suspended by Twitter for violating its rules.

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