• Wed
  • Sep 17, 2014
  • Updated: 6:40am

Hu Jintao

Born in 1942 and Chinese president since 2003, Anhui native Hu Jintao had been posted to Gansu, Guizhou and Tibet during his climb up the party ranks, and first became a member of the Politburo’s standing committee in 1992. He graduated from Tsinghua University in 1964 with a degree in engineering. The Communist Youth League is known to be a staunch supporter of Hu. He retired as General Secretary of the Communist Party Central Committee and Chairman of the Party's Central Military Commission during the 18th Party Congress in November 2012, and expected to handover presidency of the PRC to Xi Jinping in the spring of 2013. 


NewsChina Insider

Spanish court indicts China's ex-president Hu Jintao on genocide charges

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 October, 2013, 12:38pm
UPDATED : Friday, 11 October, 2013, 4:23pm

Spain’s National Court has agreed to hear charges of genocide against former Chinese President Hu Jintao.

On Thursday, the court’s criminal division ruled in favour of an appeal by Tibetan exile groups allowing the indictment of Hu, a request which had been dismissed in June by the same court.

The court, which handles crimes against humanity and genocide, argued that the earlier decision had to be overturned because one of the plaintiffs, Thubten Wangchen, is a Spanish citizen and because China had not carried out its own investigation into the allegations.

“There’ll be some sort of diplomatic reaction,” said Nina Jorgensen, an associate professor at the Chinese Univeristy of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Law. “China has been very much against these proceedings.”

“But in all likelihood, not a lot will happen,” she cautioned. “The case brings attention to the issue and gives the victims at least an opportunity to bring attention to their claims.”

Spanish courts can hear cases of crimes against humanity wherever they occur outside its national territory on the legal principle of universal competence. In 2009, the universality was limited to cases in which Spanish citizens are victims of such crimes.

The court’s decision follows lengthy proceedings which started in 2008, when Tibetan activist groups, one of them headed by Wangchen, asked the court to hold seven Chinese state leaders, including former President Jiang Zemin and former Premier Li Peng, responsible for crimes against humanity allegedly committed by the Chinese government in Tibet. China denounced the trial proceedings.

Hu Jintao served as Communist Party Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region between 1988 and 1992, overseeing a crackdown on anti-Chinese riots in 1989.

The court “recognises that this genocide is against the country of Tibet and against the Tibetan nation, and the judges recognise that this indictment of Hu Jintao comes at the precise judicial moment ‘when his diplomatic immunity expires’”, the Madrid-based Comité de Apoyo al Tíbet, a plaintiff in the case, said in a statement.



Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

Just for a little perspective, George W. Bush was indicted for war crimes in Switzerland, and convicted of war crimes in Kuala Lampur. And before that, Pinochet was charged by Spain with war crimes. So former heads of state are definitely fair game after they leave office, for those who think that the current Spanish court is somehow doing something totally unbelievable in the current instance. And remember they're only agreeing to hear the appeal. I can only imagine the frothing at the mouth that will occur if Hu actually gets convicted. That will be a popcorn-worthy spectacle, I'm sure.
I also didn't see much belly-aching from the US State Department when Bush got roasted in foreign courts. Contrast that with the Chinese Foreign Ministry. Sometimes (ok, almost all of the time), they doth protest too much. And as a study in human nature, I wonder if those who complain the most are the ones with the most to hide...
Well then, hey, maybe you should file a court case in some court in China against those perpetrators in the Spanish Empire. It's ok that they're long dead; some Chinese court can try them posthumously, based on apparent evidence of what "presumably" occurred. But man, if ever anyone was going to try to argue that a court is the organ of the state, CHina would be a good start. That, and the fact the PRC lacks an independent judiciary, and that trials are conducted for political expediency. Exhibit A could be Xilai/Bo for instance.
I imagine the Chinese Communist Party will ban anything Spain exports to China to put pressure on their politicians. I hope it starts a trade war. The WTO definitely needs to collapse.
as a response to bobbywong and ipc1998, spain is not the problem in that regard. china herself is the problem and it can only be solved if chinese people wake up from doomed nationalized ideology and take some responsibility as a citizen. it doesn't mean that you can speak if you have mouth rather responsible for what is coming from your mouth. may be you think it will ruin spain trade with china, although china is not stable and on the verge of falling sooner or later. not everybody is after money and immorality. so should you'll
Obviously, you have no idea what is meant by an organ of the state in international law and what an “independent judiciary” of a state being independent of.
The issue here is that the Spanish National Court has made erroneous comments in its decision on the status of Tibet, namely it has made reference in its decision to “the country of Tibet” and “the Tibetan nation”. Since it is an organ of the Spanish state, Spain is responsible for the errors.
In 1955, a 10-point Declaration was made by the first large-scale Afro-Asian Conference (also known as the Bandung Conference) and Point 4 states:
“Abstention from intervention or interference in the internal affairs of another country”
This principle is not an invention of the CCP.




SCMP.com Account