Xinhua released a report a short while ago, confirming the formal arrest of Liu Xiaobo on 23 June 2009. Liu was detained and had been placed under house arrest since 8 December 2009, a day before the release of Charter 08. Liu was alleged to be the master mind behind the drafting of the document that asked for reforms to China’s political and legal system.
The Xinhua report reads:
（2009-06-24; 2.20 pm）
The following is my translation:
Xinhua: Liu Xiaobo arrested suspicious of inciting subversion of the State (24/6/2009 2:20pm)
The prosecutor has given permission on the 23th [of June] for the arrest of China’s prominent dissident Liu Xiaobo, who is alleged of committing the crime of inciting subversion of State authority.
According to Xinhua, Police investigation has confirmed that Liu Xiaobo’s acts of using rumour and libel to incite subversion of State power and overthrow of the socialist system are in violation of the “Criminal Legislation of the People’s Republic of China”. He is suspected of committing the crime of inciting subversion against State authority. The Beijing Public Security has therefore conducted an investigation in accordance with the legislation. [Consequently] the Prosecutor has approved of Liu Xiaobo’s arrest on 23 June.
The report notes that Liu Xiaobo has confessed to the alleged crime during a preliminary Police investigation.
A Beijing lawyer Mo Shaoping tells Reuters that if Liu is indicted and convicted, he will face a maximum custodian sentence of 15 years. In other words, Liu will not be released until he is 68. Mo has been disqualified to represent Liu because he also signed the Charter 08 petition.
WSJ China Journal has published a great post on Liu Xiaobo’s arrest. The blog post contains a translation of some legal opinions that a famous Beijing based rights lawyer Liu Lu has written. This is by far one of the best analysis of how the latest development can be interpreted and what it means for the future of Liu Xiaobo.