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China to set trial date for Rio Tinto exec

China to set trial date for Rio Tinto exec article image
China is expected to set a date for the trial of Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu this week. Australian citizen Hu was arrested on July 5, 2009 and charged with commercial conspiracy, along with three Chinese co-workers. Minster for Trade Simon Crean, acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, said while China was due to set a date, it was possible for them to legally postpone the process. "What is happening in this case is accordance with Chinese law. There is the potential for a further extension. We have been kept informed, we have had consular access, we have made vigorous and active representations on all occasions privately in our discussions with the Chinese," he said in an interview on the ABC's AM program. Australia are anxious for this issue to proceed and have urged expediency, said Crean. "I think we just have to let this run its course. We've consistently said we would want it dealt with expeditiously and transparently and we continue to persist with that."

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