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18 more Australians facing charges of ‘economic crimes’ in China

Posted by Author on March 31, 2010

Malcolm Farr, The Daily Telegraph, Australia, March 31, 2010 –

THE Government is tracking the trials of 18 Australians facing charges of “economic crimes” as it deals with the 10-year sentence imposed on former mining executive Stern Hu.

The clear majority of Australians before the courts in China — 18 of a total of 23 — have been arrested in relation to “fraud and other economic crimes”, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said yesterday.

There are 17 Australians serving sentences in Chinese prisons, according to DFAT. Most were convicted of fraud or corruption.

A further two were on assault charges, one is on a charge for a car accident, one for a visa violation and one is on a drugs charge.

Hu, an Australian citizen, was sentenced to ten years in jail plus two hefty fines for bribery and industrial espionage after a three-day trial, in which the part covering claims of spying was closed to Australian observers.

In related developments, corporate watchdog the Australian Securities and Investments Commission said yesterday it was monitoring developments after the jailing of Hu.

And in London, the Serious Fraud Office said it was reviewing whether to launch an inquiry following comments by the Chinese judge who sentenced Hu and his three Chinese colleagues in Shanghai on Monday……. (more details from The Daily Telegraph)

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