China: Stern Hu Consular Case: Trial

Statement by DFAT spokesperson

18 March 2010

The Australian Consulate-General in Shanghai has received official notification from the Shanghai People's Court about arrangements for the trial of Australian citizen Mr Stern Hu and three Chinese employees of Rio Tinto.

Mr Hu and the other defendants will be tried by the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court, commencing on Monday 22 March.

Mr Hu's family, his employer and his lawyers have also been informed of the trial commencement date.

Mr Hu will stand trial on charges of receiving bribes and infringing commercial secrets.

Mr Hu will be represented by his legal counsel.

Consular officials from our Shanghai Consulate-General will attend open sessions of the trial in which the charges of receiving bribes will be heard.

At the request of one of the parties and in accordance with Chinese law and procedure, the Court has decided that the sessions dealing with the infringement of commercial secrets should be closed.

As a consequence, court authorities have advised that Australian consular officials are not able to attend that part of the proceedings.

Australian officials have asked for this to be reconsidered.

We are pleased that this case is now moving to trial.