Chinese Law Prof Blog

Editor: Donald C. Clarke
George Washington University Law School

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Li Zhuang gets 18 months on appeal; disavows earlier "confession"

The extraordinary story of Li Zhuang continues. On appeal, the 2nd-instance court reduced his sentence by one year: from two and a half years to eighteen months. Li Zhuang then announced that his earlier confession had been phony; that it had been elicited by a promise from the government (presumably a promise that he would not go to jail), which they had now gone back on.

This is not surprising - as I noted in an earlier post on this case, the "confession" sounded fake all along, indeed so fake that one suspects Li was signalling its insincerity. The language he used in his "confession" sounded entirely scripted and cliched. (“在各级组织各级领导的耐心教育下”,逐渐认识到“自己的所作所为玷污了律师的职责,缺失了一名法律工作者应有的职业道德基础”,并称“刑事辩护人更应该顾大局、识大体,与党中央保持一致。”) According to the report, this confession was delivered haltingly and with certain language mistakes.

Here's the story from Caixin:

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