China Jails Australian For 13 Years
December 7, 2011 by staff
China Jails Australian For 13 Years, An Australian businessman detained in southern China was sentenced Tuesday to 13 years in jail for embezzlement and bribery, Australia’s government confirmed.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in an emailed statement that Matthew Ng planned to appeal the sentence, which was handed down by the Guangzhou Intermediate Court at a hearing Tuesday. Consular officials were present for the hearing, it said.
Ng is CEO of Et-China, a travel services company reportedly embroiled in a dispute with a local Chinese partner.
“We have made clear to Chinese authorities our strong interest in Mr. Ng’s case,” the Australian government statement said.
It said that Prime Minister Julia Gillard had raised Ng’s case with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in April and that other Australian officials discussed it several times with their Chinese counterparts.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the chairman of Ng’s company, Zheng Hong, was sentenced to 16 years in jail and Et-China’s chief financial officer, Kitty Yang, was given 3 1/2 years, both on related embezzlement and corporate charges.
The case follows the arrest and conviction last year in Shanghai of four employees of mining giant Rio Tinto, including Australian citizen Stern Hu, for bribery and infringing trade secrets. Hu was sentenced in April to a total of 10 years in prison while three colleagues were imprisoned for seven to 14 years.
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