China to Put Rio Tinto Staff on Trial
The Australian government in particular has been angered by the arrest of Rio’s staff last July, because one of those detained was Australian national Stern Hu, who was in charge of sensitive iron-ore price negotiations between China and global producers.
Almost all criminal cases that go to trial in China end in conviction. The maximum penalty for commercial espionage is seven years in prison, if the case is found to have caused “extreme damage”.
The four are accused of using improper means to obtain commercial secrets from the country’s steel industry, and using that information as a bargaining chip to drive up the price that China pays for its iron ore imports.
Read more about the Rio Tinto case via CDT.