Southern Metropolis News gives an update on the case against Wu Baoquan, who was sentenced on libel charges after expressing support online for farmers fighting local officials over land rights. ESWN translates:
In July, the Dongsheng district People’s Court re-tried the case. Yesterday, the verdict was delivered.
The prosecutor pointed out that Wu Baoquan libeled then Ordos city party secretary Yun Feng. Afterwards, Wu Baoquan went to Kangbashi village to act as the spokesperson for the peasants. He accepted more than 295,000 yuan in cash from the peasants. Wu used the Internet, pretended that he was a reporter, used his imagine to make up facts in order to libel others and he did all this for the money. His action has defamed the character and reputation of others as well as seriously endangered local social stability.
The court said that Wu Baoquan repeatedly published the same content to liberl and insult people. Objectively, his actions were intentional. Furthermore, Wu made up and distorted facts to libel people on the Internet, where the information traveled far, wide and quickly. At the same time, it also seriously endangered local social stability. Therefore, Wu was guity and sentenced to 18 months in jail (which was 6 months less than the previous sentence). Wu said in court that he will not make any further appeal. He is due to be released on October 28 barring any new developments.
See also a post on the case from Siweiluozi’s blog.