H.K. journalist on trial for spying allegation: report.HONG KONG Hong Kong (hŏng kŏng), Mandarin Xianggang, special administrative region of China, formerly a British crown colony (2005 est. pop. 6,899,000), land area 422 sq mi (1,092 sq km), adjacent to Guangdong prov. , Aug. 15 Kyodo
The trial of Hong Kong-based senior journalist Ching Cheong, accused of spying for Taiwan in return for large sums of money, began Tuesday in Beijing more than a year after he was first detained, local media reported Tuesday.
Ching was taken to the Beijing 2nd Intermediate People's Court An intermediate people's court (中级人民法院) is the second lowest local people's court in the People's Republic of China. According to the Organic Law of the People's Courts of the People's Republic of China from a detention center in the morning, accompanied by two of his lawyers, Hong Kong's TVB news reported.
''The trial will last for two to three days,'' the report quoted former Chinese judge Ong Yew-kim as saying. ''It is likely that Ching could receive a prison term for a fixed period.''
The Journalists' Association has expressed regrets about the restriction on family members' presence in court and plans to stage a candlelight vigil Tuesday, urging a fair and open trial of Ching.
Ching, 56, the chief China correspondent for Singapore's Straits Times newspaper, was picked up in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou on April 22, 2005, and formally charged the following August with passing state secrets to a foreign intelligence agency over a five-year-period.
If convicted, he could possibly face the death penalty, although observers see that as unlikely.
Ching had reportedly traveled to Guangzhou to collect information connected with the purged Chinese Communist Party Chinese Communist party: see Communist party, in China.
Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
Political party founded in China in 1921 by Chen Duxiu, Li Dazhao, Mao Zedong, and others. leader Zhao Ziyang, who died in January while under house arrest for sympathizing with Tiananmen Square demonstrators in 1989.
Ching had worked for Hong Kong's pro-Beijing Wen Wei Po Wen Wei Po (Traditional Chinese: 文匯報; Simplified Chinese: 文汇报; Pinyin: Wénhuì Bào newspaper from 1981 to 1989 as its bureau chief in Beijing. He reportedly left the paper in protest after the Tiananmen bloodshed, and had worked for The Straits Times since 1996.