Former lawyer Jiang Tianyong pleads guilty to State subversion, asks for leniency

By Bai Tiantian in Changsha Source:Global Times Published: 2017/8/22 13:49:04

Former Chinese lawyer Jiang Tianyong pleaded guilty on Tuesday and asked for leniency as he stood trial for inciting State subversion in Changsha, Central China's Hunan Province. 

"Since 2009, I had this sense of urgency and hoped that by hyping up sensitive cases, more people would know me so my cases wouldn't dry up," Jiang said in court. 

Jiang became a lawyer in 2004 but was barred from practicing law by the Beijing Justice Bureau in 2009.

"I don't have hatred toward our country nor the Party. I have benefitted from the country's reform and opening-up," Jiang said. 

He said many of his actions were motivated by "friendship" with the "709 lawyers" and their families. 

The "709 lawyers" refers to Zhou Shifeng, Li Heping and other lawyers, many of whom from Fengrui Law Firm. The police had accused them of sensationalizing cases in the name of safeguarding human rights and justice. Zhou was sentenced to seven years for subversion in 2016. Li received a four-year reprieve in 2017. 

The prosecutors accused Jiang of mobilizing people to surround the Tianjin courthouse where Zhou and other lawyers were tried in July 2016. He also "smeared the Chinese judicial organs and caused negative political impact" during his interview with the Voice of America after the Tianjin trials, the prosecutors said in the indictment. 

In his final statement, Jiang said he hoped that other civil rights lawyers could learn from his experience. He vowed to "return to his family and never go back to his old ways."

According to the indictment, Jiang had posted over 33,000 tweets on Twitter and Sina Weibo since 2009, of which 214 had directly attacked Chinese government or incited subversion. He had been interviewed by overseas media 148 times and in more than 70 interviews, Jiang had attacked the government. 

Jiang admitted to have fabricated the story that another 709 lawyer Xie Yang was tortured during detention. 

The trial adjourned at noon and the verdict will be announced at an undisclosed date.

Posted in: POLITICS

blog comments powered by Disqus