The highly anticipated trial of former politburo member Bo Xilai began Thursday, surprisingly with an almost unprecedented flood of real-time information about the proceedings.
The Jinan Intermediate People’s Court used Weibo, a popular Twitter-like microblog service, to deliver a running account of the trial since its start. The number of followers of its microblog page has jumped from less than 10,000 on Wednesday to over 300,000 by 7 pm Thursday. The court also arranged a media lobby at a nearby hotel, to provide live feed of trial details to reporters.
This is the first time details of a trial of a senior Chinese official have been released real-time to the public. In the past, such high level court trials took place behind closed doors, with details being released only after sentencing.