A top aide to former Chinese Communist Party chief Zhao Ziyang is to be tried on charges of leaking state secrets and "counter-revolutionary propaganda," Chinese authorities said on March 24.

China's procurator general Liu Fuzhi said at a press conference that Mr. Zhao's former secretary Bao Tong "will eventually be tried" along with several other dissidents arrested after the spring 1989 democracy movement.

The verdict on Mr. Bao, the highest ranking official to be charged in connection with the 1989 protests, is expected to have implications for an assessment of Zhao himself.

Zhao was ousted soon after the June 4 crackdown and was accused of "supporting the turmoil." No results have been announced of a party investigation into Zhao's actions.

Bao's wife, Jiang Zongcao, appealed to China's parliament in an open letter to intervene against unlawful treatment of her husband, who she maintains is innocent. Ms. Jiang told the Monitor her appeal had brought no response, but she was warned by authorities to stop speaking out.

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