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Chinese official confirms Nov. 28 court session for Taiwan activist

2017/11/25 13:08:55

CNA file photo

Beijing, Nov. 25 (CNA) A Chinese court on Nov. 28 will hold a hearing on the case of Taiwanese human rights activist Lee Ming-che (李明哲), who is accused of subverting state power, a Chinese official confirmed Saturday.

Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) confirmed the hearing to reporters and said Lee's lawyer had informed his family of the matter.

Although Ma did not give other details, Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said a day earlier that a verdict will be announced during the session at the Yueyang City Intermediate People's Court in Hunan Province, citing a message Lee's family members received from his lawyer.

On Sept. 11, Lee pleaded guilty in what was seen as a forced confession to the charge at a hearing at the court.

Lee admitted to cooperating with Peng Yuhua (彭宇華), a Chinese citizen who has created several discussion groups critical of the government, to intentionally disseminate information and articles attacking the Chinese Communist system and the Chinese government.

Article 105 of China's Criminal Law stipulates a maximum penalty of life imprisonment for "ringleaders" who try to subvert the government, 10-year imprisonment for "active participants" and three-year imprisonment for "other participants."

Lee's family and colleagues have maintained his innocence, insisting what he did was simply share his opinions and Taiwan's democratic experiences with Chinese people, something they said is allowed in free and democratic societies.

A staff member at Wenshan Community College in Taipei and a former Democratic Progressive Party worker, Lee went missing after entering China via Macau on March 19. He was later confirmed to have been detained by Chinese authorities.

The Chinese government announced in May that he had been arrested on the charge of subverting state power.

(By Ozzy Yin and Y.F. Low)