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Lawyer from Legal Sheng Bang (Sanya) Says | Xing Rixuan: Criminal and Legal Issues Involved in Wu Yifan's Detention

On the evening of July 31st, Ping An Beijing Chaoyang Weibo reported the progress of the Wu Moufan incident. In response to online reports of "Wu Moufan repeatedly deceived young women into having sexual relations", after investigation by the police, Wu Moufan (male, 30 years old, Canadian) has been criminally detained by the Chaoyang Public Security Bureau in accordance with the law on suspicion of rape. The investigation of the case is further underway.


On the evening of July 31st, Ping An Beijing Chaoyang Weibo reported the progress of the Wu Moufan incident. In response to online reports of "Wu Moufan repeatedly deceived young women into having sexual relations", after investigation by the police, Wu Moufan (male, 30 years old, Canadian) has been criminally detained by the Chaoyang Public Security Bureau in accordance with the law on suspicion of rape. The investigation of the case is further underway.

 

Question 1: Does criminal detention mean that Wu Yifan must be guilty?

Article 82 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China stipulates that public security organs may detain current offenders or major suspects in any of the following circumstances:

 

(1) Preparing to commit a crime, committing a crime, or being discovered immediately after committing a crime;

(2) The victim or someone who witnessed the crime with their own eyes identifies him as guilty;

(3) Discovering criminal evidence by oneself or at one's residence;

(4) Attempting to commit suicide, escape or be on the run after committing a crime;

(5) There is a possibility of destruction, falsification of evidence, or collusion;

(6) Those who do not disclose their true name or address, and whose identity is unknown;

(7) There is a significant suspicion of committing crimes from place to place, committing crimes multiple times, or collaborating in criminal activities.

 

Article 367 of the Provisions on the Procedure of Public Security Organs in Handling Criminal Cases stipulates that after a suspect of foreign nationality has made a decision to obtain a guarantor pending trial, to be placed under residential surveillance, or to execute detention or arrest according to law, he shall report to the provincial public security organ within 48 hours, and at the same time report to the Foreign Affairs Office of the people's government at the same level.

 

According to the above provisions, the objects of criminal detention are active criminals or major suspects. China has more strict procedural provisions for the execution of detention of foreign suspect. At present, Wu Yifan has been criminally detained, indicating that the public security organs have found him to be an active criminal or a major suspect, and have obtained preliminary evidence of Wu Yifan's suspected rape. But at this time, Wu Yifan is still just a suspect, and the final conviction still needs to be tried by the court. We can only say whether Wu Yifan is guilty after the court ruling takes effect.

 

Question 2: Wu Yifan is Canadian, why can the Chaoyang police detain Wu Yifan? Are there any special requirements in the judicial process?

Article 6 of the Criminal Law of China stipulates that all crimes committed within the territory of the People's Republic of China shall be governed by this Law, except as otherwise provided by law. If a criminal act or result occurs within the territory of the People's Republic of China, it is considered a crime within the territory of the People's Republic of China.

 

Article 16 (2) of China's Criminal Procedure Law stipulates that "foreign nationals who enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunities shall be held criminally responsible for crimes and shall be resolved through diplomatic channels." The so-called diplomatic privileges and immunities refer to the rights enjoyed by envoys, consulates, and diplomatic personnel during the performance of their duties, which are not subject to the legal jurisdiction or other treatment of the host country.

 

Although Wu Yifan is a foreign national in this case, he is not a foreigner enjoying diplomatic privileges and immunities and does not need to be resolved through diplomatic channels. As long as Wu Yifan's criminal act occurs within the territory of China, Chinese judicial authorities have jurisdiction over this case and can apply Chinese laws in accordance with the law. As the People's Daily said, foreign nationality is not a talisman, and no matter how famous it is, it has no immunity.

 

Question 3: If Wu Yifan is convicted of rape, what legal responsibility will he bear?

According to Article 236 of the Criminal Law of China, anyone who rapes a woman through violence, coercion, or other means shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than ten years. Whoever rapes a young girl under the age of fourteen shall be considered as rape and given a heavier punishment.

 

Whoever rapes a woman or has sexual intercourse with a young girl shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than ten years, life imprisonment, or death in any of the following circumstances:

(1) Raping a woman or raping a young girl with a heinous plot;

(2) Raping women or having sexual intercourse with multiple young girls;

(3) Raping women or sexually assaulting young girls in public places;

(4) Two or more people engage in gang rape;

(5) Raping or causing harm to a young girl under the age of ten;

(6) Causing serious injury, death, or other serious consequences to the victim

 

In general, the crime of rape is punishable by imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than ten years. If Wu Yifan is ultimately found guilty of rape of multiple women, rape of young girls, or other aggravated circumstances after being tried by the court, Wu Yifan may be sentenced to more than ten years in prison or even life imprisonment. Moreover, according to Article 35 of China's Criminal Law, expulsion can be independently or additionally applied to foreigners who commit crimes. Therefore, if the court believes that Wu Yifan's continued residence in China will pose a threat to the interests of the country and the people, expulsion can be applied, ordering Wu Yifan to leave China immediately after serving his sentence and not to enter the country for ten years.