Date
22 November 2017
Zhou Yongkang (above) is the highest-profile figure caught up in President Xi Jinping's campaign against corruption. Photo: Reuters
Zhou Yongkang (above) is the highest-profile figure caught up in President Xi Jinping's campaign against corruption. Photo: Reuters

China to hold open trial for fallen security tsar

China will hold an “open trial” for fallen security tsar Zhou Yongkang.

Zhou Qiang, president of China’s Supreme People’s Court, said the trial will be conducted “in accordance with the law”, Reuters reported Friday, citing state media.

Sensitive cases are generally held behind closed doors in China but this trial is seen as an attempt to show transparency although it’s likely to be far from open, the report said.

Last year, China arrested Zhou Yongkang and expelled him from the party, accusing him of crimes ranging from taking bribes to leaking state secrets.

Bo Xilai, a charismatic politician whose rising star was felled by China’s crackdown on graft, was also given an “open trial” but foreign journalists were barred from attending and parts of the trial were redacted from a webcast.

Zhou Yongkang, 71, is by far the highest-profile figure caught up in President Xi Jinping’s campaign against corruption.

He is the most senior official to be ensnared in a graft scandal since the party swept to power in 1949.

China’s leadership has said it is working toward greater judicial independence but critics say true independence is impossible because courts ultimately answer to the ruling Communist Party.

Zhou Yongkang was one of the most powerful politicians of the last decade, and the party will not allow itself to be embarrassed by revelations he might make in court.

The state secrets part is expected to be heard behind closed doors.

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RC/RA

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