Friday, April 11, 2014

Public trial sought in Chinese military case

Lt. Gen. Gu Junshan
The South China Morning Post reports that veterans and legal experts have called for a public trial in the corruption case of former People's Liberation Army deputy logistics chief Lieut. Gen. Gu Junshan. A public trial would improve transparency and help curb corruption in the PLA. On the other hand,
an article in the PLA Daily, the CMC's [Central Military Commission] mouthpiece, delivered a strong hint that Gu's would be a closed-door trial. The newspaper yesterday cited Yu Xiao, a legal expert, as saying that Gu's trial might not be open as it might spotlight aspects of his job, including the production and procurement of tactical equipment, which are classified as military secrets.
"Cases involving military secrets concern national security and are not allowed to be tried in public in accordance with laws" and international judicial practice, Yu said.
This case could be a turning point for PLA military justice. The better practice would be to close the courtroom doors only for those parts that truly involve classified information -- but that assumes the classification rules are applied in a reasonable fashion and according to known rules, rather than reflexively. And who will decide whether the doors are closed? A judge? A security official? Party leadership? Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. One of the earlier press releases stated that the trial would not be open because the case involved state secrets.


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