Definition of show trial in English:

show trial


  • A judicial trial held in public with the intention of influencing or satisfying public opinion, rather than of ensuring justice.

    • ‘I doubt these people realize that what they're demanding in their outrage over the absence of a guilty verdict is a Stalinist show trial where the outcome is pre-determined and artificial closure is assured.’
    • ‘The two soldiers were also victims because they were charged solely to please Korean public, like a show trial.’
    • ‘Now the government and the police are clearly determined to proceed with a major show trial, making it a test case for the right to free speech, as well as the rights to organize and demonstrate.’
    • ‘If he committed crimes against humanity, as most believe, a show trial won't provide true justice.’
    • ‘Those arrested eventually faced what amounted to a show trial that ended on September 26.’
    • ‘Hitler was keen to avoid the public show trial of his most famous general and it seems that a ‘deal’ was done.’
    • ‘The proceedings starting today are nothing but a show trial designed to have the former dictator quickly sentenced to death and executed.’
    • ‘At the trial itself, their defense team, which was close to the Party, proved itself incapable of answering the charges politically, in what was clearly a political show trial.’
    • ‘This analogy had already been pointed out by Trotsky and by Bukharin, himself one of the accused in the major show trial of 1938.’
    • ‘The state reacted with a show trial, death sentences, and abrupt and immediate executions as a public deterrent.’
    • ‘The alternative is to face a military show trial with the likelihood of an even longer jail term or the death penalty.’
    • ‘The sole purpose of the show trial appears to have been to get a death sentence against an expendable figure.’
    • ‘Someone decided this was going to be a show trial and they handed out the ultimate punishment.’
    • ‘Arrested in 1477, and condemned for treason in a show trial before his peers, he was executed secretly in the Tower, by means never officially revealed.’
    • ‘All the talk that this is a show trial will stop when people see the documents for themselves.’
    • ‘Supporters say they are innocent of the charges, that they are victims of a show trial and have accused senior Colombian government ministers of making prejudicial remarks about the three.’
    • ‘This is the closest thing to a Soviet show trial that we are likely to see in our lifetimes.’
    • ‘It has become a prosecution of one party, a show trial.’
    • ‘She was arrested and, in a show trial in 1981, sentenced to death, though this was commuted to life imprisonment.’
    • ‘After the first Moscow show trial, the wave of arrests also engulfed the German émigrés who had fled from the Nazis.’


show trial