• EN
  • 中文
22 Feb 2019

Supreme Court judge disappears, reappears in forced TV confession on CCTV

Update (October 16, 2020): Chinese Supreme Court judge Wang Linqing, who has been missing for almost two years, was allowed his first meeting with a lawyer Zhang Lei on the afternoon of 16 October. The former judge spoke for nearly two hours at the meeting at a Beijing detention center. He is reported to be nearly blind in one eye, severely reduced hearing in one ear, and suffering prostate damage. He claimed he did not steal the case file that he is accused of. 

He said he had been held in RSDL and described the custodial system as "not fit for humans."

Update (May 2019): Former CCTV presenter Cui Yongyuan, who first brough attention to scandal at the Chinese Supreme Court, which led to Supreme Court Justice Wang Linqing's disapparance (later re-appearing in a forced TV confession on CCTV, before disappearing again), has offered a similar confession himself. Cui posted on his social media account a handwritten notice about how he trusts the official investigation team, and that he had been foolish to believe what judge Wang had told him. 

Update (October 2019): Wang Linqing remains disappeared, likely in liuzhi detention, despite having disappeared well over 6 months ago, the legal limit for secret imprisonment in the liuzhi system. Learn about the little known Liuzhi system for disappearances, and the National Supervision Commission (NSC) that controls it, by reading Safeguard Defenders submission on the system to the United Nations. 

CCTV13 today (2019-02-22) aired the 50th known Forced TV Confessions since Xi Jinping came to power. CCTV13's news program Focus On (共同关注) aired a confession in their evening news broadcast featuring Wang Linqing (王林清), a judge on China's Supreme Court that went missing on January 3, 2019, and possibly placed into Liuzhi under China's new National Supervision Commission.  


The broadcast



The broadcast also viewable on CCTV website here.

Updated, latest database (bilingual) on China's use of Forced TV Confessions can be downloaded as Excel sheet here.


Brief background on missing judge


On December 26, 2018, an Intellectual - and former CCTV presenter - Cui Yongyuan exposed news on his weibo, indicating that there was thief inside the Supreme Court, and that files related to 100 billion CNY mineral ownership case had been missing for two years. The post brought great public attention. The next day, the Supreme Court responded that the allegation was a rumor.  On December 29, 2018, Cui revealed further evidence through weibo, pointing out the file had been stolen in the judge’s office, and that the judge who handled the mineral case was Wang Linqing (王林清), and released two photos that looked like the missing files. The same day, The Supreme Court admitted the content shown in the photos matched the copy of the file that exists at the Court’s documentation office. Supreme Court stated that they will start an investigation.

On December 30, 2018, “China Times” received a video, a testimony video by Wang Linqing (王林清) who serves as a judge of the Supreme Court Civil Trial. In the video, Wang said he made the video for self-protection and released it as evidence in case something happen to him. In the video, Wang exposed two cases of similar nature, one that was about a contract dispute starting back in 2003, and when he was about to write a judgment on it before trial at second instance, the relevant files had all gone missing. Due to the seriousness of the case, he reported it to the court president and asked to check surveillance cameras. The preseident checked it himself and said no one but Wang appeared in it. The next day the camera was broken. Wang said he became very suspicious.    

On January 2, 2019, another Wang Linqing video leaked online, in the video, Wang talked about another case that he was involved in back in 2012, which may be related to his current situation. The case concerned infringement of property rights worth billions of renminbi. When Wang Linqing handled the case, the president of Supreme People's Court Supervision Bureau called Wang to report on the case twice, and indicated that one upper leader had a strong concern about the case, and wanted Wang to judge the case to the benefit of one particular party. Wang Linqing refused to do so and reported that this very same party had tried to bribe him. After an unfavorable outcome to the same party, Wang received a threat from this party, saying he would have trouble in the future.  In 2014, when Wang Linqing was appointed to hold a lecture in a court in Jiangsu, he was arrested due to an order from higher up, police claiming that he committed a serious crime. Wang was interrogated both in Jiangsu and in a hotel of Beijing. Police didn’t find anything unusual after they went through Wang’s bank account. Eventually, police used the talk he had held as an excuse, and called it an illegal business activity, and seized the income he earned from it and gave him a demerit.  Judge Wang was taken to a hotel near the Supreme Court in Beijing for interrogation by investigation team on January 3 and has not been heard from since.

On January 9, 2019, Cui Yongyuan made a post on weibo, said had phone call with Judge Wang Linqing Wang sounded fine, but couldn’t meet with Cui yet.