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  HOME PAGE 20/09/2021 08:26 
27.05.2021 15:12 News >> China Holds Closed Door Spy Trial Of Australian Academic

China Holds Closed Door Spy Trial Of Australian Academic

2 Chinese born Australian citizens, including a journalist, facing espionage charges under China’s opaque judicial system.

China on Thursday held a closed-door trial of an Australian academic jailed for last two years over alleged spying, according to local media.
Lijian Zhao, spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry, told a news conference in Beijing that a Beijing court heard the case of Chinese-born Yang Jun, or Yang Hengjun, state-run daily Global Times reported.
Yang, 56, is charged with espionage, he said, adding that the court will "pronounce its verdict at a later date." He is one of the two Australians detained over alleged charges of spying.
"As state secrets are involved, the trial is not public," said Lijian.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry had said last October that Yang Jun was "officially charged with espionage".
Yang's case was subsequently transferred to Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court for prosecution.
He was detained in January 2019 at the airport in Guangzhou when he landed in the Chinese city with his family after flying from the US. China formally arrested him over alleged espionage in August 2019.
The Australian academic, under investigation over the charges of alleged espionage, may face death penalty or long years in jail.
Separately, Cheng Lei, a Chinese-born Australian journalist, who worked for Chinese public broadcaster CGTN, was formally arrested in February over "suspicion of illegally supplying state secrets overseas."
She was detained in August last year, before Australia confirmed it in February.
Australia's Ambassador to China Graham Fletcher who tried to attend Yang's trial was reportedly turned away by the local authorities.
"This is deeply regrettable, concerning and unsatisfying," Fletcher told Hong Kong-based RTHK news outside the courtroom.
"We've long had concerns about this case, including a lack of transparency, and therefore conclude it to be an instance of arbitrary detention," he added.
Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Thursday that the lawyer met Yang on May 21, voicing concern over "delayed, limited legal representation in China."
"We have not seen any explanation or evidence for the charges that have been brought against him," Payne said, adding Yang has been provided consular support "in every way possible" by the Australian Embassy in Beijing.
She added Australia was not interfering in the Chinese legal system but "the concerns we have raised are legitimate ones," hoping the trial will be "transparent." -



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