Subversion charges for Chinese dissident


China will try the veteran dissident Chen Xi on charges of subversion after he published pro-democracy essays online, his wife said yesterday.

Mr Chen, a human rights campaigner in Guiyang in southwest China, was arrested last month and will be tried for "inciting subversion of state power", a charge often used against critics of the ruling Communist Party, said his wife Zhang Qunxuan.

"They accused him because of 36 essays he published at home and overseas," Zhang told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"I don't know exactly what the charges are, because the court and prosecutors wouldn't show me the indictment. They said there are rules against showing that to family members," she said, adding that one of Chen's lawyers told her about the subversion accusations.

Chen, 57, is sure to maintain that he is innocent, but is certain to be found guilty and jailed by China's party-controlled judiciary, Zhang said.

"He's definitely going to fight the charges," she said, citing her discussions with his defence lawyers. She was told of the trial date on Friday, she added.

"But it looks certain that he'll be convicted. That's what courts always decide."

Chen was arrested last month after being released from a week-long detention triggered by his campaigning for independent candidates seeking to win places on China's party-controlled People's Congress assemblies, said Zhang.