Taiwan resident Lee Ming-che stood trial in a court in Yueyang City in central China’s Hunan Province, accused of inciting subversion of state power.
During the open trial, Peng Yuhua, a suspect from the Chinese mainland, faced the same charge.
Prosecutors accused Peng of roping in dozens of people, including Lee, to establish an organization aimed at subverting state power and overturning the country’s fundamental political system, which is enshrined in the Constitution, through instant messaging services.
The two suspects asked members of the organization to exaggerate a number of sensitive issues and make defamatory statements about the Chinese government and its political system, according to the indictment.
They attempted to overturn state power and the socialist system through unscrupulous distortion of the facts and by fanning public hostility against the government and its system, it said.
Prosecutors said that their activities had seriously harmed national security and social stability.
“I regarded biased and malicious reports about the Chinese mainland by media in the West and Taiwan as reality, and had no clear knowledge of the mainland’s development,” Lee said in the final statement.
Peng also expressed regret to society as well as to his family, saying he felt deeply distressed about his wrongdoing.
During the trial, evidence including documents, witness testimonies, and audio, visual and digital materials were presented by prosecutors in court, along with the two suspects’ statements. The defendants and their lawyers examined the evidence. Both sides fully expressed their opinions in court.
More than 30 people, including the defendants’ families, legislators, political advisors, domestic and overseas journalists, and members of the public, attended the trial.
Videos of the trial were published on the Yueyang City Intermediate People’s Court’s official Weibo account. The verdict will be announced at a later date.
On March 19, 2017, Lee, who was on the mainland to participate in illegal activities, was put under coercive measures by the Hunan provincial security organ on suspicions of “subverting state power.”
The 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily