The accusation, which Mr. Zhao and The Times deny, deprives a defendant in China of almost all rights. Mr. Zhao still has not had a court hearing. No public explanation has been given for his arrest. He is forbidden to see his family. His lawyer’s efforts to post bail were denied not by a judge but by the Ministry of State Security, the agency that arrested him.
Mr. Zhao, 43, who worked as a researcher for the newspaper’s bureau in Beijing, was no stranger to State Security when it picked him up last Sept. 17 at a Pizza Hut in Shanghai. His previous work as a muckraking journalist and rural activist earned him regular visits from agents and invited speculation that his past life was the reason for his arrest.