Exiled dissident Wang Bingzhang went on trial behind closed doors in Shenzhen yesterday on charges of espionage and 'leading a terrorist organisation', state media and his lawyer said. The half-day trial in Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court concluded at about 1.30pm without a verdict. Xinhua said the trial was held behind closed doors because Wang was suspected of committing crimes relating to state secrets. It said the prosecutors had argued that Wang, 55, organised and led a terrorist group and engaged in espionage. The verdict will be announced at a later date. Wang, who has lived in New York since the 1980s after being exiled to Canada in 1979, was reported missing by his family in June during a visit to Vietnam with two pro-democracy activists. Chinese authorities later revealed he had been in their custody since July after apparently being rescued from a kidnap gang in Guangxi province, near the Vietnamese border. He was formally arrested last month. Overseas human rights groups have expressed grave doubts about the version of events given by Chinese authorities, suggesting the trio was abducted by government agents. Wen Chao, one of the two lawyers who represented Wang, declined to give details about Wang's defence and would not say how he pleaded. Mr Wen also refused to clarify the charges and the maximum penalties they carried. But according to China's criminal law, a person found guilty of engaging in espionage activities faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, while a person who is convicted of leading a terrorist organisation faces up to 10 years in jail. A statement released by the Free China Movement quoted Wang's daughter, Wang Qingyan, as saying that her father's lawyers had been sacked for 'their inability to help'. The organisation had alleged earlier that the lawyers were only tools of the Chinese authorities and would help to convict Wang. Ms Wang, who lives in Los Angeles, could not be reached for comment yesterday. Her claim was rejected by Mr Wen, who said he was surprised by it. He also insisted that he had been appointed by Wang. The hearing took place yesterday amid tight security. There was a heavy presence of police and undercover officers in the court and its immediate vicinity who stopped and questioned anybody in the area, including journalists waiting outside the court. Authorities appeared to have cancelled other hearings in the court complex yesterday and staff were seen leaving the building early.