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Chinese file new indictment against Times researcher

Chinese prosecutors have filed a new indictment against a researcher for The New York Times, but it is unclear if they have introduced new charges or simply restated the case that was withdrawn in March, his lawyer said Monday.

The new indictment against Zhao Yan was filed last Friday in a Beijing court. Mo Shaoping, the lawyer who has represented Mr. Zhao, said he had not yet been able to see the indictment and could not determine if the charges had changed.

Mr. Zhao, 44, has been imprisoned since September 2004 on charges of fraud and disclosing state secrets to The Times. He has denied both charges. In March, prosecutors dropped the charges, and Mr. Mo predicted that his client would be released. Instead, Mr. Zhao remained in detention, despite the lack of formal charges against him.

Mr. Zhao’s case has become a major diplomatic issue between the United States and China. President Bush has been personally involved in it.

Mr. Zhao’s arrest is linked to a September 2004 article in which The Times reported that former President Jiang Zemin had secretly offered to resign his last leadership position, as military chief.

The article prompted a high-level leak investigation by the Communist Party, which prohibits news coverage of the secret workings of top leaders.

Mr. Zhao was arrested and later charged with disclosing state secrets. The Times has said that he did not disclose any state secrets to the newspaper.

Date posted: May 16, 2006 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 2977