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Thursday, June 20
The Indiana Daily Student


China moves to indict top dissident for subversion

BEIJING – Police have finally presented a case against Liu Xiaobo, a prominent dissident who has been jailed for a year without charge after helping produce a high-profile manifesto calling for sweeping democratic reforms in China, a lawyer said Wednesday.

The development moves Xiaobo one step closer to standing trial and ends months of anxious uncertainty for his family and supporters. Police extended their investigation of Xiaobo three times during the past year – China’s legal limit.

Lawyer Shang Baojun said the report presented by investigators alleges Xiaobo incited to subvert state power with several essays he posted online and by helping produce Charter 08, an unusually direct appeal for more civil rights in China and an end to the Communist Party’s political dominance.

“This marks the end of the investigation phase and the beginning of the prosecution phase,” Baojun said. Prosecutors now have about a month to examine the report and accompanying evidence and decide whether it is sufficient for a trial.

There have been numerous international appeals for Xiaobo’s release, and the latest development is likely to trigger a new round of lobbying on his behalf.

Beijing routinely uses the charge of subversion to imprison dissidents. Baojun said Xiaobo could face up to 15 years in jail.

Xiaobo, a former university professor who spent 20 months in jail after joining pro-democracy protests in 1989, was taken away by police on Dec. 8, 2008, a day before the charter was made public, and held at a secret location for six months.
He was formally arrested in June.

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