Jaycee Chan to go on trial on Friday
JAYCEE Chan, the son of gongfu movie star Jackie Chan, will stand trial on Friday on a drugs charge, local media reported yesterday, the latest in a series of minor celebrities accused of narcotics offences.
The microblog post from the semi-official newspaper, Legal Evening News, said that the younger Chan, a 32-year-old actor and singer, would be tried in Eastern District Court in Beijing, in a case that will be closely watched both at home and abroad.
He was formally charged last month with "the crime of sheltering others to take drugs" after testing positive for marijuana, with police saying that they found 100g of the drug at his home.
According to Chinese law, the maximum sentence for this crime is three years in prison as well as a fine.
Calls to the Eastern District Court went unanswered.
Jaycee Chan is among a string of other mostly B-list celebrities detained last year by the Chinese authorities on drug-related charges that have been publicised widely in state and social media. They include movie and television stars, film directors and a prominent screenwriter.
The younger Chan was arrested on Aug 14, together with Taiwan movie star Kai Ko.
Their detentions come amid a campaign by China's Ministry of Public Security to crack down on drug abuse, gambling and prostitution.
Drug crimes carry harsh penalties in China, including death or life imprisonment in serious cases.
Illegal drugs, especially synthetic substances like methamphetamine, ketamine and ecstasy, have grown in popularity in China in tandem with the rise of a new urban class with greater disposable income.
Last month, state media reported that Jackie Chan felt ashamed of his son's drug abuse and hopes that one day, he will speak out about the dangers of taking drugs.
The movie star served as a goodwill spokesman for the China National Anti-Drug Committee in 2009, promoting anti- drug education.
REUTERS, CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK