China again delays verdict in state secrets trial of NYT researcher

China again delays verdict in state secrets trial of NYT researcher

[JURIST] A Chinese court has delayed a verdict for the second time in the trial of Zhao Yan [HRIC profile, PDF], a former New York Times researcher accused of providing state secrets to foreigners. According to Zhao's lawyers, the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court ordered the delay without giving a reason or setting a new date for the verdict. Zhao's trial was conducted in secret on June 16, closed to both his family and potential defense witnesses. The court delayed the verdict [JURIST report] June 16 in a move that Zhao's lawyer described as common. However, the lawyer contends that by again delaying the verdict, Chinese authorities are holding Zhao illegally.

China indicted Zhao [JURIST report] on the state secrets charges in December, following a 2004 New York Times report [text] that revealed the resignation of Jiang Zemin as head of the military before it was formally announced. Authorities dropped the charges [JURIST report] in March, but they continued to detain Zhao [JURIST report] and eventually reinstated the charges. China [JURIST news archive] has insisted that Zhao's continued detention is legal [JURIST report] under the Chinese Criminal Procedure Law [text]. The New York Times has more.