(especially in a totalitarian state) the public trial of a political offender conducted chiefly for propagandistic purposes, as to suppress further dissent against the government by making an example of the accused.
Origin of show trial
First recorded in 1945–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
a trial conducted primarily to make a particular impression on the public or on other nations, esp one that demonstrates the power of the state over the individual
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012