BEIJING—Chinese authorities said they plan to hold an open trial when they try two foreign investigators tied to U.K. drug company GlaxoSmithKline PLC on charges of illegally purchasing personal information about Chinese nationals.
The degree of openness wasn’t immediately clear. But the move raises the possibility that U.S. and U.K. officials will be allowed to observe the proceedings against Peter William Humphrey, a 58-year-old British national, and his wife, Yu Yingzeng, a 61-year-old American. U.S. consular officials had previously said the court planned to bar foreign consular officials and families of the investigators because of privacy issues.
The Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People’s Court said on its official microblog account on Thursday that it made the move after hearing suggestions from Ms. Yu and Mr. Humphrey as well as from prosecutors to open the trial. It said the trial date will be adjusted accordingly, without offering further details.
The trial had been planned for Aug. 7, according to the U.S. consulate.
Phones at the Shanghai court rang unanswered on Thursday. Officials at the U.S. and U.K. embassies in Beijing didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.