China charges Jackie Chan's son over drug offense

Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:18am EST
 
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BEIJING (Reuters) - China's state prosecutor said on Monday it had formally charged Jaycee Chan, son of kung fu movie star Jackie Chan, with a drugs offense, meaning he is almost certain to face trial.

The younger Chan, a 32-year-old actor and singer, was arrested in Beijing this year after testing positive for marijuana, with police saying they found 100 grams of the drug at his home.

In a brief statement on its official microblog, the Supreme People's Procuratorate said it had begun legal proceedings against him for "the crime of sheltering others to take drugs". It did not elaborate.

President Xi Jinping said in June that China would "harshly crack down" on narcotics, state media reported.

Action and comedy star Jackie Chan, 60, served as a goodwill spokesman for the China National Anti-Drug Committee in 2009, state media reported, promoting anti-drug education.

Jaycee Chan was not available for comment. In August, his father offered the public a "deep bow of apology" for his son's arrest.

China has detained a string of other mostly B-list celebrities in recent months on drug-related charges, cases that have been publicized widely in both state and social media. They have included movie and television stars, film directors and a prominent screenwriter.

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.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)

 
Hong Kong actor Jaycee Chan arrives at the Hong Kong Film Awards in this April 19, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Bobby Yip