Zhou Yongkang: China's former security chief faces corruption trial

State media reported that China would hold an 'open trial' in an attempt to show transparency

China’s former security chief has been charged with bribery, abuse of power, and the intentional disclosure of state secrets, state media reported.

Zhou Yongkang, who was one of China’s most powerful men until his retirement in 2012, headed the Ministry of Public Security.

After Xi Jinping took over his role in 2013, Zhou was put under investigation and a formal probe was announced by officials in July 2014.

The indictment accused Zhou of "taking advantage of his position to seek benefits for others", "illegally accepting other people’s huge assets", "abuse of power" and "causing heavy losses to public property, the state and the people".

A statement on the website for China’s top prosecutor, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, did not give specific details of the charges, but said: "The impact on society is vile, the circumstances are especially serious."

No date was given for Zhou's trial, but state media reported in March that China would hold an "open trial" in an attempt to show transparency.

Legal experts say, however, the party runs the risk of Zhou threatening to reveal state secrets.

Zhou’s case was transferred on 3 April to a court in the northern city of Tianjin, not far from Beijing, according to prosecutors.

Additional reporting by Reuters