China is walking back plans to secretly try a British private investigator and his American wife in connection with their work for GlaxoSmithKline, the British drugmaker accused of bribery in the mainland, the Financial Times reported Thursday.
The move follows pressure from the United States and Britain which expressed concerns about lack of transparency in the proceedings.
US consular officials were earlier told they could not attend the trial of Peter Humphrey and Yurcu Yingzeng, who are expected in the next several days to face charges of illegally obtaining the personal information of Chinese nationals.
On Thursday the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court said on its official microblog account that the case would be tried in public “after hearing advice from both sides”.
This could mean the trial would be rescheduled from its previous expected date of Aug. 7, the report said.
The court also said it had taken into account a plea from the defendants that family members be allowed to attend.
Humphrey’s company, ChinaWhys, which he runs with his wife, was hired by GSK in April 2013 to investigate a former employee the company suspected of waging a smear campaign against it.
Humphrey was recruited after GSK chief executive Sir Andrew Witty was sent a secretly filmed video of Mark Reilly, the company’s China head at the time, in bed with his Chinese girlfriend.
– Contact us at [email protected]