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Copyright 1998 Deutsche Presse-Agentur  
Deutsche Presse-Agentur

November 11, 1998, Wednesday, BC Cycle 
13:00 Central European Time

SECTION: International News

LENGTH: 219 words

HEADLINE: China prepares closed trial of Internet user



China is preparing the secret trial of a Shanghai software firm manager accused of endangering state security when he turned over tens of thousands of e-mail addresses to an American pro- democracy Internet guide, a Hong Kong-based human rights group said on Wednesday.

The accused computer engineer, Lin Hai, 30, is scheduled for trial on November 26 in courtroom number five of the Shanghai Number One Intermediate People's Court, the Information Centre of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China said.

Authorities had informed Lin's wife, Xu Hong, of the date, the centre said.

Lin was arrested on March 25 and initially convicted in June, but prosecutors returned the case to the investigating Public Security Bureau over lack of evidence.

China contends that Lin should be punished for sending some 30,000 e-mail addresses to "Big Reference" which consituted endangering state security and attempting to overthrown the Communist-led government.

Lin's wife has sent an open letter to the Shanghai People's Procuratorate protesting the decision to hold a closed trial and condemning Justice Minister Xiao Yang for encouraging the practice.

"This case does not touch state secrets or personal privacy and so should definitely be tried openly," Xu wrote in her appeal. dpa mi pt


LOAD-DATE: November 11, 1998

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