Rio Tinto case handled in line with laws: spokesman

20:55, March 23, 2010      

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A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday that the conduct of the Rio Tinto trial did not violate China's consular agreements with Australia.

The trial of four employees of the mining giant Rio Tinto Group, including Australian national Stern Hu and his three Chinese colleagues who were charged with bribery and stealing commercial secrets, opened in Shanghai Monday.

"The pre-condition of China's consular agreements with Australia is the respect of China's sovereign rights of justice," Qin told a regular press conference in response to a question that Australian diplomats were excluded from the trial.

Chinese authorities arrested the four Rio Tinto employees last year. The Number One branch of the Shanghai Municipal People's Procuratorate charged them with bribery and obtaining commercial secrets in February.

Chinese related departments' handling of the case was in line with Chinese laws and regulations, and was not against China's consular agreements with Australia, Qin said.

"In fact, China maintained constant contact with Australia over the case and passed on related information to Australia," Qin said.

Source: Xinhua
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