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China putting ex-NYT journalist on trial in leak case

[JURIST] China [JURIST news archive] announced Saturday on the last working day that prosecutors were able to bring the case [IHT report] that it is putting journalist Zhao Yan on trial for stealing state secrets and fraud within the next six weeks. Yan had worked at the New York Times' Beijing Bureau as a researcher. When the Times ran a scoop about the retirement of former president Jiang Zemin [Wikipedia backgrounder] from his last post as head of the military in September 2004, Yan was accused of leaking the story to the paper and arrested [CCEC report]. The New York Times has repeatedly denied that Yan was the source for its scoop. The evidence against Yan is a photocopied research note he wrote which detailed a dispute between Jiang and successor Hu Jintao [official profile; Wikipedia profile] about the promotion of two generals.

China accuses more journalists than any other country. Earlier this year, Ching Cheong was detained after being accused of selling state secrets [JURIST report] to Taiwan and Shi Tao was jailed for ten years for divulging details of a censorship order [HRC backgrounder] to a US-based human rights group. The Telegraph has more.

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