Detained newsman may escape trial (SCMP)

The South China Morning Post reports that the deadline has passed for charges to be filed against Southern Metropolis News editor Cheng Yizhong – indicating that he may be treated with leniency. The story also quotes “reports” that high level Guangdong officials may have intervened on his behalf.

But Cheng’s lawyer says officials have six months maximum to file charges. In any case, in political cases like this one, Chinese authorities do not often pay attention to due process.

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from SCMP article:

“Sources said former Guangdong Communist Party chief Ren Zhongyi, a reformist, and former party official Wu Nansheng had written to current party secretary Zhang Dejiang asking him to make his views on the case known.

The China Youth Daily has described the case against Mr Cheng as a joke and urged the central government to step in. Mr Cheng was first arrested on January 8 but released after deputy party secretary Cai Dongshi intervened.

He was re-arrested on March 19 after the court handed a 12-year sentence to the tabloid’s former general manager, Yu Huafeng, for embezzlement, and jailed Li Minying, a former director of the newspaper’s parent group, for 11 years for taking bribes. “

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