Prosecution Authority: the People’s Procuratorate of Haicheng (the ‘Prosecution’).
The Defendant, Zhang Shulin, male, born on 24 February 1998, Han Chinese, educated up to lower secondary school level, unemployed, currently resides and household registration locates in Haicheng. On suspicion of the crime of picking quarrels and provoking trouble, the Defendant was criminally detained on 5 October 2019 by the Haicheng Public Security Bureau. On 8 November 2019, the Prosecution approved the formal arrest of the Defendant, which was conducted by the Haicheng PSB on the same day. He is now detained in Haicheng Detention Centre.
The Guardian, Zhang X-1, male, born on 10 October 1962, Han Chinese, resides in Haicheng, and is the father of the Defendant.
Defence counsel: Jiang Yunhong, a lawyer with Liaoning Haiqing Law Firm.
On 3 December 2020, the Prosecution filed the present case with this Court by the Indictment  Hai Jian Xingsu No 778 against the Defendant for committing the crime of picking quarrels and provoking trouble. Upon receipt of this case, this Court formed a collegial panel in compliance with the law and held a public hearing of the case on 22 December 2020. Assigned by the Prosecution, Prosecutors Li Xinhong and Ma Chaoqun appeared in court on behalf of the People to present the case. The Defendant, his Guardian, and his defence counsel appeared before the court to attend the proceedings. The trial of the case has now been concluded.
The Prosecution alleges that on 4 October 2019, the Defendant used his elder brother Zhang X-2’s QQ account (ID: 148 xxxx 57733; display name: Dongbei Zairenbang Diaoye) to post abusive remarks towards prominent state leaders in a QQ group (group name: QQ Shengren Jiushi Riyue Litian; group ID: 243616917). The Defendant was then captured by the public security organ, with the tablet computer he used distrained by the police. Upon examination, the Defendant was found to have repeatedly created and fabricated images and remarks on the internet before that insulted the images of prominent state leaders.
The Prosecution has submitted pertinent evidence to substantiate the aforesaid charges and holds that the acts of the Defendant have violated the provisions set out in Article 293 of The Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China and constituted the crime of picking quarrels and provoking trouble, and therefore pleads for a punishment be given according to law. The Prosecution suggests a fixed-term imprisonment of one (1) year and three (3) months be given to the Defendant.
The Defendant has no objection to the factual charges, the name of the offence, and the sentencing recommendation filed by the Prosecution, attested with signed statements, and did not contest during the court hearing. The Guardian has no objection to the charges filed by the Prosecution.
The defence counsel holds no objection to the name of the offence charged by the Prosecution, to wit, the Defendant committed the crime of picking quarrels and provoking trouble. At the same time, the defence counsel contends that the Defendant has voluntarily pleaded guilty with a favourable attitude, which constitutes an honest confession. And given that the Defendant has no prior criminal record and was of limited legal capacity at the time of the offence, the defence counsel, therefore, pleads with the Court for a lighter punishment be given to the Defendant.
The Court, upon trial of this case, ascertains that, on 4 October 2019, the Defendant used his elder brother Zhang X-2’s (‘Sen’) QQ account (ID: 148 xxxx 5773; display name: Dongbei Zairenbang Diaoye) to post abusive remarks towards prominent state leaders in a QQ group (group name: QQ Shengren Jiushi Riyue Litian; group ID: 243616917). The Defendant was then captured by the public security organ, with the tablet computer he used distrained by the police. It is also ascertained that the Defendant once had repeatedly created and fabricated images and remarks on the internet that insulted the images of prominent state leaders.
It is furthermore ascertained that, upon assessment by the Forensic Institute of the Liaoning Mental Health Centre, the evaluatee, Zhang Shulin, has been diagnosed with an uncategorised non-psychotic mental disorder and was of limited criminal responsibility at the time of the offence.
The aforesaid facts are substantiated by evidence that has been cross-examined and confirmed in court as documentary evidence of ‘Resident Basic Information Form’, ‘Source of the Case and the Course of Apprehension’, ‘Inventories of Distrained and Returned Articles’, ‘Statement of Circumstances’, ‘Photos and Screenshots’, and ‘Certificate of Diagnosis’, with testimony of witnesses from Zhang X-1, Zhang X-2, and Xu X, along with the ‘Confession and Justification of the Defendant’, ‘Forensic Evaluative Opinions’, and among other evidence, are sufficient to establish.
This Court holds that the Defendant used the information network to verbally abuse others, the circumstances were serious, the social order was undermined, and his acts have thus constituted the crime of picking quarrels and provoking trouble, and therefore, he shall be punished. The facts and the name of the offence charged by the Prosecution are established and are therefore supported by this Court. Considering the Defendant was of limited criminal responsibility at the time of the offence, he then, therefore, shall bear criminal responsibility but can be given a lighter or mitigated punishment. And given that the Defendant voluntarily pleaded guilty, consents to accept punishments, and has demonstrated signs of remorse, he can, therefore, be given a lighter punishment. The sentencing recommendation provided by the Prosecution is appropriate and thus is adopted by this Court. The defence opinions raised by the defence counsel are verified to be true and are therefore supported by this Court. In accordance with Paragraph 1 of Article 293, Paragraph 3 of Article 18, Paragraph 3 of Article 67, Article 45, Article 47, and Article 64 of The Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, as well as Article 15 and Article 201 of The Criminal Procedure 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 one (1) year and three (3) 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 5 October 2019 and ends on 4 January 2021.) and
II. The instrument of crime, one (1) Huawei tablet computer, is to be confiscated and turned over to the state treasury.
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 Anshan Intermediate People’s Court of Liaoning 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 two (2) duplicated copies of the petition shall be submitted.
|Decided on 22 December 2020
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