Monday, March 16, 2015

No military trial for Chinese general

A Chinese general who was slated to go on trial has died before the proceedings could begin. As this article in The Diplomat reports, Xu Caihou had been vice chairman of the Central Military Commission. Excerpts:
The case against Xu would have poised even thornier problems for the dilemma of public access and national security. Military courts tend even more toward secrecy by their very nature. The balance between media coverage and secrecy would have been an interesting decision to make.
Xu’s death, of course, means the end of the legal case against him. As CCTV reported, military prosecutors will drop their case against Xu (although they will “continue to process his illegal assets” – which reportedly included a literal ton of cash as well hundreds of pounds of jade). The investigation into Xu is effectively closed; China will have to wait for a major trial equivalent to Bo [Xilai]’s case to be held within its military courts.
The next military “tiger” may already be in Xi’s sights, however. Xu’s fellow vice chairman on the CMC during the Hu Jintao era, Guo Boxiong, is popularly believed to be the next major target. His son, Guo Zhenggang, has already been announced to be under investigation, leading observers to believe the father will fall next. And of course there’s the still pending case of a smaller “tiger,” Gu Junshan, formerly the deputy head of the PLA’s General Logistics Department.
China may get its military show trial after all.

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