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China refuses to release NYT researcher despite dropped charges: lawyer

[JURIST] Chinese prosecutors are refusing to release a New York Times researcher despite receiving a court order last week dismissing the charges [JURIST report] against him, the researcher's lawyer said Tuesday. Zhao Yan has been detained since 2004, accused of leaking confidential state information to foreigners [JURIST report], but the charges were unexpectedly dropped last week, reportedly in anticipation of a visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao [official profile] to the US.

Fraud charges against Zhao still remain, and prosecutors claim they released the state secrets charge to gain additional time in investigating the fraud allegations. Zhao's attorney, however, is arguing that this is not a justification to keep him in prison and has threatened to file charges against the illegal detention if prosecutors continue to hold his client. AP has more.

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