5月31日:西藏古董收藏商与环保人士被控以“盗掘古墓葬罪”

Tibetan antique dealer and environmental activist charged with grave
robbing

嘎玛桑珠的逮捕也许是有政治动机的,中国信息提供者告诉泰晤士报

(要翻墙,用赛风 http://fanqiang123.info)

Jane Macartney /北京电
日期:2010年5月31日

中国最有名的西藏古董收藏家、环保人士,预定今天出庭面对盗掘古墓葬罪的审判,一个早在十二年前就被中国警方决定不予起诉的罪名。

出身偏远贡觉县的嘎玛桑珠,现在面临的是可能获判终生监禁的罪名,据信其原因乃是此不安地区,这位有名的西藏商人与中共当局的政治差异所导致的后果。

目前四十出头的嘎玛桑珠,是在今年一月时被捕的,当时他到成都去,与凯悦酒店集团商谈在西藏首府拉萨设立一座博物馆式的酒店事宜。

他稍后被移监到主要是维吾尔族的新疆地区,以出庭盗掘古墓葬罪的审判。这个罪名第一次加诸在他身上时,是在1998年,然而不久后他就获得释放,显然因为这位西藏商人并不晓得他购买的古董原来是盗墓者的赃品。他具备政府所审核的古董买卖许可证,也告诉警方,他当时并不知道这些古董的来历。

然而,近年在西藏地区发生的反对中共之抗议,再加上他家人在家乡所设立的环保组织与警方产生的夙怨,也许就是导致这项指控再度卷土重来的原因,关注这个案情的信息提供者如此告诉泰晤士报。

嘎玛桑珠是家中三兄弟里最后一位身陷囹圄者。其他两位在去年被捕,罪名是他们所设立的康区安琼森格南宗环境保护自愿协会是个非法组织。嘎玛本人也曾另外成立了一个很受尊敬的三江源保护协会,是一个曾经赢得许多地方与国际西藏文化与西藏高原野生动物保护大奖的组织。

然而,三兄弟在他们的小团体试图阻止当地的派出所主管猎捕受保护的野生动物时,惹上了麻烦。又因为他们在自己的网站上,提起达赖喇嘛是诺贝尔和平奖的得主,使得这个案件被当成严重的政治罪来处理。公安局局长不久之后就获得荣升。

三兄弟中最年幼的弟弟,被判了一年九个月的“劳教”,也就是行政处罚。最年长的哥哥正在等待刑事罪的审判。

嘎玛桑珠本来不想把这些案情公诸于世,因他有自信可以使自己兄弟重获自由,没想到他本人却在一月时遭到逮捕。一位认识这位收藏家好几年的中国信息提供者说:“他很惊讶。他没想到他们会试着想把他关起来。”

他相信,他在藏人社区以及古董收藏界的名气,会保护他幸免于难。他也是作家刘鉴强所写的一本畅销书《天珠》的男主人公,书中描写这种黑白的长形玛瑙就是西藏人最珍贵的宝藏。

嘎玛桑珠是中国境内收藏最多“矢”珠的收藏家——也是一般称之为“天珠”的宝石——他不但指挥市场,也因为个人拥有价值超过七百万人民币(七十万英镑)的收藏,而能够决定市场的价格。

藏人与许多汉人都认为这些珠子是保护符,有时候甚至愿意不惜巨资,购买有九个“眼”的宝珠——“眼”指的是有着特殊黑白形状的圆点。

他的律师浦志强,说他会在今天(星期二)案子开庭之前见到他的委任人。他告诉泰晤士报:“我尚未见到足以构成刑事罪名的证据。我觉得这是非常匪夷所思的,特别是因为此案的日期发生在超过十年以前。我有许多疑问。”

6月1日:西藏古董收藏商的“盗掘古墓葬罪”审判延期
Tibetan antiques dealer’s ‘grave robbing’ trial delayed

Jane Macartney /北京电
日期:2010年6月1日
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article7141677.ece

中国地方法院今天展延西藏著名古董收藏家的“盗掘古墓葬罪”之庭讯,没有说明延期的理由。

嘎玛桑珠因为控制西藏最珍贵的护身符的市场,有“天珠王”美誉,他的律师今天表示,虽然他专程从北京飞到新疆西部的焉耆去出庭,却连庭讯为什么延期的解释都没有得到。

浦志强昨天见到了他的委托人,表示本来块头很大的这位藏人环保人士,已经在关押五个月中瘦了很多,大约瘦了四十镑(十八公斤)之多。他拒绝说明嘎玛先生消瘦的原因是否因为受到不良待遇,或者伙食太差的结果,只说他精神不佳。

浦先生说:“关这么久,你还指望什么。他精神不好。然而他正在读佛经养神。”

嘎玛先生的案子何时再开庭,法庭没有任何表示。警方对他的盗墓的指控,在十二年前就在调查后决定不予起诉,因为他们调查的结果发现他不能为他所购买的古董来历负责,而他购买古董是有政府的合法执照。

这些指控又再度卷土重来,据信是这位有名的西藏商人,在自己的家乡,西藏东部偏远的贡觉县,因为与地方当局有了政治上摩擦所导致的后果。他一直在争取他两位兄弟的释放,他们因为从事村级的环保运动,与地方上狩猎保护级野生动物之警方,起了摩擦。

他的妻子,珍嘎,告诉泰晤士报:“他被逮捕到现在,我都没见过他。派出所不准亲属探望他。我试着想给他送一点衣服和钱,然而他们告诉我,他不需要。浦律师告诉我他的情况时,我很难过。”

她又说他们的两个女儿以为父亲出门经商,对于今天儿童节看不到他人感到失望。她又说:“我不晓得为什么他被逮捕,为什么十二年前已经不起诉的案子又再度拿出来审判。他一直都在做好事:文化,慈善,环境保护。我不认为他得罪了任何人。”

然而,近年在西藏地区发生的反中共之抗议事件,再加上他家人在家乡所设立的环保组织与警方产生的夙怨,也许就是导致这项指控再度卷土重来的原因,关注这个案情的信息提供者如此告诉泰晤士报。

嘎玛桑珠是家中三兄弟里最后一位身陷囹圄者。其他两位在去年被捕,罪名是他们所设立的康区安琼森格南宗环境保护自愿协会是个非法组织。三兄弟中最年幼的弟弟,被判了一年九个月的“劳教”,也就是行政处罚。最年长的哥哥正在等待刑事罪的审判。

嘎玛本人也另外成立了一个很受尊敬的三江源保护协会,是一个曾经赢得许多地方与国际上的西藏文化与西藏高原野生动物保护大奖的组织,而这个组织的名誉会长是西藏第二位最著名的高僧,班禅喇嘛的女儿。

浦先生说他应该会再度跟他的委托人见面,并且会要求法庭给予保释。“我有很好的理由要求取保候审。他已经被关了很久,又不对社会构成危险。那为什么不让他回家,在家等候?”

From Times Online

Tibetan antique dealer and environmental activist charged with grave
robbing
:

Karma Samdup’s arrest may have been politically motivated, Chinese
sources told The Times

Jane Macartney / Beijing
Last updated May 31 2010 9:45AM

China’s leading private collector of Tibetan antiques, an environmental activist, is scheduled to go on trial today on charges of grave robbing, an accusation already dismissed by police 12 years earlier.

Karma Samdup, a Tibetan from a village in remote Gongjue county, faces up to life imprisonment on the charges, which are believed to stem from political differences between the prominent Tibetan businessman and Chinese authorities in the restive region.

Karma Samdup, who is in his early 40s, was arrested in January while on a trip to the central city of Chengdu for discussions with the Hyatt hotel group about setting up a museum-style hotel in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa.

He was transferred to the mainly Muslim region of Xinjiang to face trial for grave-robbing. The charge was first brought against him in 1998 but soon dropped after it emerged that the Tibetan businessman had been unaware that some antiques he had bought had been sold to him by grave robbers. He was equipped with a government licence to purchase antiques and told police at the time that he could not be aware of their provenance.

However, anti-Chinese unrest that has roiled Tibetan areas of China in recent years, coupled with a feud between an environmental organisation set up by his family in his home village and the police, may have led to the revival of the charges, Chinese sources who have followed the case told The Times.

Karma Samdup is the third of three brothers to find himself behind bars in the last few months. The two others were arrested in August last year on accusations that their Voluntary Environmental Protection Association of Kham Anchung Senggenamzong was an illegal organization. Karma himself founded the separate, well-respected Three Rivers Environmental Protection Association, a non-governmental group that has won a string of domestic and international awards for its work to protect local Tibetan culture as well as wildlife on the Tibetan plateau.

However, the brothers ran into trouble after their small group clashed with the local police chief when they tried to stop him from hunting protected wild animals. A reference to the Dalai Lama as a Nobel Peace Prize winner on their website resulted in the case being handled as a more serious political crime. The police chief has since been promoted.

The youngest brother was sentenced to serve one year and nine months of “re-education through labour”, which is an administrative punishment. The eldest is still awaiting trial on full criminal charges.

Karma Samdup had tried to keep the case out of the public eye and had been confident of winning the freedom of his brothers before he himself was arrested in January. One Chinese source who has known the collector for several years said: “He was completely surprised. He never expected that they would try to find a way to lock him up.”

He believed that his prominence in the Tibetan community and in the world of collecting would protect him. He was the protagonist of the popular book “Heavenly Beads” by writer Liu Jianqiang which describes the importance of an elongated bead carved from black and white agate that is the most precious treasure of Tibetans.

Karma Samdup is China’s biggest collector of the “dzi” beads — known popularly as “heaven’s pearl” — and he commanded the market and set the price with a personal stock valued at more than 7 million yuan (700 thousand pounds).

Tibetans, and many Chinese, regard the beads as protective amulets, sometimes paying hundreds of thousands of pounds for those with as many as nine “eyes” — or circular dots in the distinctive black and white design.

His lawyer, Pu Zhiqiang, said he was due to meet his client before the case came to trial today (Tuesday). He told The Times: “I have not seen sufficient evidence to support a criminal charge. This seems very inexplicable to me, especially since this dates back more than a decade. I have many questions.”


From Times Online
June 1, 2010

Tibetan antiques dealer’s ‘grave robbing’ trial delayed
Jane Macartney, in Beijing

A Chinese court postponed today the trial on charges of grave robbing of the leading private collector of Tibetan antiques, but gave no reason for the delay.

The lawyer for Karma Sandup, known popularly as the “king of heavenly beads” for his control of the market for one of the most precious Tibetan talismans, said he had received no explanation despite having flown from Beijing to the remote town of Yanqi in the western Xinjiang region for the session.

Pu Zhiqiang met his client yesterday and said that the once-burly Tibetan, a renowned environmental activist, had become a shadow of his former self after five months in detention, and had lost about 40 pounds (18 kgs). He declined to say whether Mr Karma’s weight loss was as a result of poor treatment and bad food, but said he was in poor spirits.

Mr Pu said: “What do you expect after so long in detention. He is in rather low spirits. But he is reading Buddhist scriptures to help his morale.”

No new date was given for Mr Karma’s trial on charges that were dismissed by police 12 years ago after an investigation showed he was not responsible for the provenance of antiques he bought with a government certificate permitting him to operate as a collector.

The revival of the charges is believed to stem from political differences between the prominent Tibetan businessman and Chinese authorities in his hometown in remote Gongjue county in eastern Tibet. He had been fighting for the release of his two brothers, detained after their village-level environmental clashed with the local police who were hunting protected wildlife.

His wife, Zhenga, told The Times: “I haven’t seen him since he was arrested. The detention house won’t allow the relatives to visit him. I tried to send him some clothes and money, but they told me he doesn’t need these. When lawyer Pu told me his conditions, I was very upset.”

She said the couple’s two daughters believed their father was travelling on business but were disappointed not to see him today for Children’s Day. She added: “I have no idea why he was arrested, why a case closed 12 years ago is raised again. He has been doing good things: culture, charity, environmental protection. I don’t think he has offended anyone.”

However, anti-Chinese unrest that has roiled Tibetan areas of China in recent years, coupled with the feud between his brothers and the police may have led to the renewed charges, Chinese sources told The Times.

Karma Sandup is the third of three brothers to find himself behind bars in the last few months. The two others were arrested in August last year on accusations that their Voluntary Environmental Protection Association of Kham Anchung Senggenamzong was an illegal organisation. One is serving one year and nine months of “re-education through labour” while the other faces criminal charges.

Mr Karma himself founded the separate, well-respected Three Rivers Environmental Protection Association, a non-governmental group that has won a string of domestic and international awards for its work to protect local Tibetan culture and whose honorary chair is the daughter of the late Panchen Lama – Tibet’s second holiest monk.

Mr Pu said he expected to meet his client again and would ask for bail. “I have good ground to ask for bail. He has been detained for a very long time. and he is not a danger to society. So why not let him go home and wait there?”

【中文译者:台湾悬钩子】

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泰晤士报连续两日报道嘎玛桑珠