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Monday, May 8, 2017, 21:31

Subversion: Chinese lawyer Xie Yang pleads guilty, denies coercion claim

By Agencies

Subversion: Chinese lawyer Xie Yang pleads guilty, denies coercion claim
Xie Yang gives an interview. (Photo provided to China Daily)

CHANGSHA – Xie Yang, a lawyer based in central China's Hunan Province, stood trial in the provincial capital of Changsha Monday.

Xie, 45, is accused of "inciting subversion of state power and disrupting the court."

Xie told the court that his rights "had been fully protected" by the police and procuratorate, and stated that he had not been coerced into a confession nor had he been subjected to torture.

In his final statement, Xie pleaded guilty and expressed his "sincere remorse." He also expressed hope that others could take his case as a lesson, act in line with law and be wary of becoming a puppet of anti-China forces.

The prosecutors alleged that since 2012, Xie had openly attacked and defamed government agencies, the judiciary and China's legal system, and had incited others to subvert state power on multiple occasions.

In 2014, Xie disrupted the court proceedings by gathering people to make disturbances and confront the court during the hearing of a case involving villagers suing the government, according to the prosecutors.

After losing a civil case on May 18 in 2015 in Nanning city of southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Xie accused local police of organizing gangs and involving themselves in economic disputes harming the reputation of the local government and inciting hatred.

From 2014 to March 2015, Xie gathered people to observe a court hearing in Changsha in Hunan Province. During the hearing, Xie fought court decisions, attacked the courts and disrupted the trial, leading to the suspension of the hearing, according to the evidence.

He also traveled overseas to receive training, the prosecutors said.

During the hearing, Xie's defence raised arguments ranging from leniency to impunity.

According to prosecutors, in July 2015 Xie was placed under "residential surveillance in a designated location" on two counts. He was formally arrested in January 2016.

The procuratorate reviewed relevant documents and returned the case to the police for further investigation twice due to "unclear facts and insufficient evidence."

To safeguard the defendant's rights and interests and ensure a fair and efficient trial, the court held a pretrial meeting of prosecutors, the defendant and his defenders to hear their opinions on several issues and present evidence from both sides on May 4.

During Monday's trial, evidence including witness statements, expert opinions, investigation transcripts, and other related audio, visual and digital materials were presented in court, along with Xie's statement.

Over 40 people, including Xie's relatives, two defense lawyers, legislators, political advisors, domestic and overseas journalists and members of the public, attended the hearing.

Transcripts of Monday's hearing was broadcast by the official microblog of the Changsha Intermediate People's Court and the verdict will be announced on a later date.

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