審判薄熙來

薄熙來在山東受審,成爲世界新聞焦點。但坦白說,這樣的案件其實並沒有太大的評論價值。中國的司法不獨立,訊息不公開,我們能在媒體上獲悉的都是很表面的訊息。他在庭上說什麽,檢控方對他做出什麽指控,都跟我們沒有太大的關係:薄熙來倒台、判刑並不會改變中國的制度。對此案的議論是熱鬧得很,但大多評論都是瞎子摸象、捕風捉影,論者想看到什麽就見到什麽。

這種評論就是一個例子。受訪的《明鏡》新聞出版集團總裁何頻說:

「薄熙來在重慶大搞唱紅打黑,很多不該死的人被鎮壓,如果追究作為市委書記的他要為故意殺人承擔多大的責任,那麼薄熙來的罪名就會比受賄兩千多萬人民幣和試圖掩蓋妻子的犯罪行為要大得多…如果審判方對薄熙來的詢問是關於重慶的唱紅打黑,那麼就會立即暴露出中共高層激烈的權力鬥爭,而現在指控他貪污受賄,他的否認就能被看作是為自己狡辯,掉進了當局設下的陷阱。」

首先,什麽叫「不該死的人被鎮壓」?難道有些被鎮壓的人是該死的?只要是「該死」就可以開動政府公權力去「鎮壓」?第二,「中共高層激烈的權力鬥爭」是公開的秘密,不需要薄熙來在這案中暴露出來。中共當然不會大庭廣眾的審問這件事,「唱紅打黑」在中國的法律中並沒有任何問題,在共產黨傳統中「唱紅」和「打黑」都是應該的:就算共產黨放棄共產主義經濟政策,它也絕對不會放棄共產主義的政治意識形態,這涉及合法性的承傳問題。第三,假如薄熙來認爲這是政治審判,而他又掌握重要資訊,他也可以隨時公開中共的内幕,雖然他這樣做就是陷自己於死地。第四,不管薄熙來否認什麽控罪,他都會被看成是狡辯。不要說薄熙來,假如鄧小平跟你說六四屠城不是他下的決定,是李鵬這幫人自把自為,你會不會覺得他是在狡辯?

何頻認為:

「對薄熙來的審判,顯示了中國的司法體制甚至比30多年前還倒退了許多…30多年前審判「四人幫」時,即便當時中國的司法系統完全被破壞,電視轉播還是讓公眾看到了江青和張春橋在法庭上的表演,顯示法庭還是給了被告一點點空間。薄案的微博「直播」都是被剪接刪節過的,電視畫面也自始至終都是記者的旁白,這種表面上看似先進的手段,實際上如何發佈真實信息都掌控在當局手中,並不是公開和真實的」。

這是非常奇怪的説法。當今世上,哪一個國家的審判會容許電視台現場直播?司法是無比嚴肅的事,並且要保持法庭的中立性,不受外界影響,怎麽可以讓電視台在法庭中做節目?事實上,四人幫的審判就正正是一場「節目」,當權者就是要藉著這場審判讓大衆知道誰是主子。電視直播是要讓公衆看到對頭醜陋的樣子,不是要讓公衆看到公平的審訊。我不知道當年四人幫的審判是否毫無剪接的直播,但我不相信他們會毫無保留的播出整個審判過程。我相信四人幫受審的「精華片段」會像是足球入球一刻一樣,在當年的電視上不段重播又重播。沒有電視直播已經算是「進步」了。(另外,當年有多少人有電視?)

薄熙來這案其實跟當年明朝紅丸、梃擊、移宮三案,對劉瑾、魏忠賢、袁崇煥(按《明季北略》,袁崇煥有通敵嫌疑)等人的審判沒有太大的分別。它們都是政治審判,但也跟薄熙來一案一樣,有一定的事實根據。在政治黑暗、司法體系不獨立的情況下,案件的來龍去脈並沒有研究的價值。我們會否討論對魏忠賢的處置對明朝的司法制度有什麽影響?會否討論劉瑾應判什麽一罪還是兩罪?極度沉迷歷史的歷史學家也不會討論這些事。面對這樣觸目的事件,湊湊熱閙是在所難免,但想得太多就會容易產生幻覺,看什麽都是陰謀。要想就多想一些制度的問題:薄熙來應當罪有應得,但現在的制度並不可能對他作出公平的審判。除非我們能發現更多資料,知道這些就已經足夠了。

更正:某些國家容許電視直播法庭審判過程。更多資料可參考留言中的討論。

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16 Responses to 審判薄熙來

  1. David FONG 說道:

    There is live internet boardcast for hearings of the UK Supreme Court:

    http://news.sky.com/info/supreme-court

    • 山中 說道:

      Interesting. I didn’t know that. I guess the supreme court is more suitable in doing this kind of things, since it deals with the constitution and law itself mostly.

  2. selina 說道:

    oh it surprised me a bit
    I used to think court hearings cannot be recorded, audio and video wise

  3. Bill 說道:

    There are in fact in many parts of the world court hearing is live online. The UK live coverage is pretty new. It started in May 2011. For American courts, live coverage is much earlier. For instance, Michigan court started in 1989. Its intention is to educate the public about the justice system and help journalists cover the court proceedings. Hong Kong is different. There is not only no live coverage. Recording is against the law too. The HK court recording is authorized by the Judiciary only.

    • 山中 說道:

      Good to know. But would that affect the court’s and the jurors’ neutrality in a high profile criminal case?

      • Bill 說道:

        I am not too sure about the degree of the coverage. As for jurors, they are reminded not to search on the internet or read news reports about the case they are empanelled to decide. The breach of such order can end up in jail. 2 months ago, I read a UK appeal about a young juror posting his comments in his facebook about the case he was sitting as a juror, he was committed for contempt of court and was sentenced to 4 months (?) imprisonment. I at first wanted to write a blog about it but later just too busy and forgot. We have entered the era of Lawtube.

  4. David FONG 說道:

    I watched it before and it’s full coverage. There is no juror involved as the Supreme Court is the final appellate court. I do not note there is other live broadcast for other UK courts (e.g. Crown Court).

  5. 山中 說道:

    Wikipedia has an entry on courtroom photography and broadcasting. Further information can be seen at the Federal Evidence Review. Interesting enough, the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure P.53 states that “Except as otherwise provided by a statute or these rules, the court must not permit the taking of photographs in the courtroom during judicial proceedings or the broadcasting of judicial proceedings from the courtroom".

    • Bill 說道:

      When the court itself televises the court proceedings, it exempts itself from the rules. Photo taking is another matter. In HK, no recording rule comes from common law but no photo taking comes from S.7 Summary Offences Ordinance Cap 228 which says,

      1) Any person who-

      (a) takes or attempts to take in any court any photograph, or with a view to publication makes or attempts to make in any court any portrait or sketch, of any person, being a judge of the court or a juror or a witness in or a party to any proceeding before the court, whether civil or criminal; or (Amended L.N. 7 of 1979)
      (b) publishes any photograph, portrait or sketch taken or make in contravention of the foregoing provisions of this section or any reproduction thereof,
      shall be liable to a fine of $250.

      Don’t be misled by the penalty here. The fine should be $2000 instead of $250.

      • 山中 說道:

        They didn’t update the text to put in $2000?

        • Bill 說道:

          It is a bit complicated here. In 1999, there is a broad amendment to the laws of HK in respect of the fines. All the fines within $100,000 are put into 6 levels in order to reflect inflation and a more reasonable amount to be taken out of the defendant’s pocket. The 6 levels are: Level 1—$2,000, Level 2 —-$5,000, Level 3—-$10,000, Level 4—-$25,000, Level 5 —–$50,000 and Level 6 —–$100,000. A fine of $250 will automatically fall into Level 1 and become $2,000. Likewise, $1,000 in the law book will become Level 1 as well. A plain reading of the ordinance will be apparent since the levels are stipulated in the Criminal Procedures Ordinance Cap 221. Some high court judges were also unaware of the change for so many years and made mistakes when hearing appeals.

          It is what we called umbrella amendments to save the trouble of amending each piece of legislation. Only the newly stipulated legislatures have mentioned the level or actually amended the maximum fine to coincide with the level. To amend each and every piece of legislation is tedious and has to go through the legal procedure and then gazette. I wrote some blogs on this previously to remind junior lawyers.

          The $250 fine here was stipulated in 1949 which is of course out of date and insufficient to reflect a sensible penalty.

    • 山中 說道:

      It appears that Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure applies to federal courts only, and state courts follow a different set of rules. That’s why the trials of OJ Simpson and Zimmerman were televised.

    • 山中 說道:

      Those who are not familiar with the workings of a federal system may find this discussion strange, so here is the gist. There are basically two types of federal state: central and non-central. It is the competence of the province/states to establish their own courts in all federal states. Different types of federalism affect the jurisdictions of the state/provincial level courts.The US falls into the latter category of federalism, where all the states have their own criminal codes, so they have their own criminal procedures as well. Canada falls into the former category, where criminal justice is a strict federal competence, so all provinces follow one criminal code and criminal procedure. I made the mistake thinking the US has an uniform criminal code.

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