Part of the trial of former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun , whose attempted defection in February triggered the country's worst political scandal in two decades, would be conducted secretly, a court spokesman said yesterday.
A spokesman for the Chengdu Intermediate People's Court said he would face trial on Tuesday.
"According to the Criminal Procedure Law, we'll use two ways, comprising open trial and non-open trial, to deal with Wang's case," he said.
Xinhua reported early this month that Wang, once the right-hand man of disgraced former Chongqing Communist Party boss Bo Xilai , would face four charges: defection, abuse of power, bending the law for selfish ends and bribe-taking.
A source close to the procuratorate in Chongqing said yesterday that Wang would most likely be given a suspended death penalty. "Wang has brought to light the murder of Briton Neil Heywood by Bo's wife," the source said. "He made a contribution in that regard and, hence, is unlikely be sentenced to death, even if he committed serious crimes."
Wang's flight to the United States consulate in Chengdu , Sichuan , led to Bo's ousting and effectively ended his political career. Bo has been accused of serious breaches of party discipline.
Bo's wife, Gu Kailai , and a family aide were convicted last month by a court in Hefei , Anhui , with Gu given a suspended death sentence. The trial was attended by dozens of selected members of the public.
The Chengdu court spokesman said yesterday there was already a full house for Wang's public trial.
He said he had no idea whether the closed-door part of the trial had already taken place. There has been speculation that Wang stood trial in secret in Chengdu as early as the middle of last month.
Hong Kong-based mainland law expert Ong Yew-kim said that as Wang's case involved both state secrets and diplomatic issues, parts of his trial would certainly be closed. "Part of the trial will be open to the public, while the rest, which involves sensitive issues, will be held behind closed doors," Ong said.
It remains unclear how long the trial will last.
One of the focal points is whether Bo will be implicated in Wang's indictment.
Bo has not been seen in public since mid-March.