A Chinese dissident who criticized the government’s response to a massive earthquake last year that left almost 90,000 people dead or missing will plead not guilty in a state secrets trial that opens next week, his lawyer said Thursday.
Mo Shaoping, who will represent the activist Huang Qi, said the trial, starting next Wednesday at a court in Chengdu in southwestern Sichuan, will be closed to the public.
Huang is charged with illegally possessing state secrets, an ill-defined charge often used by Communist leaders to clamp down on dissent and imprison activists.
“Huang Qi has denied the accusations to me,” Mo said in a phone interview. “We intend to plead not guilty, firstly because we don’t believe this is a case of state secrets and secondly because we don’t think he obtained any information illegally.”