Chinese Times Researcher To Be Released

A researcher for the New York Times, Zhao Yan, who spent three years in a Chinese prison due to a widely-criticized fraud conviction, is scheduled to be released from jail Saturday.

Zhao was jailed after a closed-door trial in Beijing over a Times story correctly predicting Jiang Zemin‘s retirement. Zhao was also charged with revealing state secrets in a move that was widely interpeted as an attempt to cow the Times‘ Beijing bureau. A prominent investigative journalist in his own right, Zhao was also a reporter for the Beijing-based publication Zhongguo Gaige (China Reform). He was fired from that publication due to government pressure after a story he wrote on a massive corruption and forcible relocation scandal in Hebei Province, China.

Zhao remains employed by the Times‘ Beijing bureau.