Entertainment

Son of Jackie Chan to stand trial in China on drugs charge

BEIJING: Jaycee Chan, the son of kung fu movie star Jackie Chan, will stand trial on Friday on a drugs charge, media reported on Tuesday, the latest in a series of minor celebrities accused of narcotics offences.

The microblog post from the semi-official newspaper, Legal Evening News, said 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 by the Chinese people.

He was formally charged last month with “the crime of sheltering others to take drugs” after testing positive for marijuana, with police saying they found 100 grams of the drug at his home.

Calls to the Eastern District Court went unanswered.

Jaycee Chan is among a string of other mostly B-list celebrities detained last year by Chinese authorities on drug-related charges that have been publicized widely in both state and social media. They have included movie and television stars, film directors and a prominent screenwriter.

Their detentions have come amid a campaign by China’s Ministry of Public Security to get tough on drugs, gambling and prostitution.

It is highly likely that Jaycee Chan will be found guilty as convictions are nearly certain in Chinese courts, which are controlled by the ruling Communist Party.

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 older Chan had served as a goodwill spokesman for the China National Anti-Drug Committee in 2009, promoting anti-drug education. -Reuters

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