'Science cop' defends himself in face of lawsuit

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Fang Zhouzi, who is known as the "science cop" for exposing pseudoscience and academic fraud, said the suit against him by the young Chinese writer Han Han will not stop him continuing his analysis of Han's work.

"Suing me is his right, but it will also attract more attention," Fang told China Daily on Sunday. "It's not bad to make more people know the truth."

Earlier on Sunday, Lu Jinbo, Han Han's publisher, said Han is making a formal accusation against Fang and asking for 100,000 yuan ($15,800) in compensation.

Han later confirmed on his blog that he will launch a lawsuit against Fang.

The move is the latest development in a heated dispute that started in early January when a well-known Chinese blogger claimed Han's works were actually ghostwritten and his intellectual image was carefully sculpted by his father Han Renjun and publisher Lu Jinbo.

On Jan 16, Han Han responded to the blogger's accusation by offering 20 million yuan to anyone who could prove his works were ghostwritten.

Fang then entered the fray, claiming Han has deleted all his articles from December 2006 to September 2007 from his blog.

"Offering money to look for evidence, while at the same time destroying the proof, shows his claims of innocence lack sincerity," Fang said in his micro blog.

Han responded by saying that the articles were deleted in 2008 at the request of his publishing house.

He also said he and his father grew up in two different times and it was impossible for them to have the same writing style.

Han's publisher, Lu, said the writer has the more than 1,000 manuscript pages as evidence.

"I don't think the resulting court decision, even if it goes in my favor, will affect the conclusion of my analysis of Han's works," Fang said in a statement published on his blog.

"My analysis, queries and criticism of Han Han's articles accord with the freedom of speech and academic criticism, and are irrelevant to the infringement of his reputation."

Fang said his lawyer will act for him in court and he will not attend.

Han, who failed his college entrance exam, rose to fame in a high-school writing competition in Shanghai in 1999. His rebellious streak and satirical writing proved popular with the younger generation.

Han was unavailable for comment on Sunday.

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