Rio Tinto Trial in China Concludes

The trial of four Rio Tinto executives on charges of bribery has closed without a verdict, the New York Times reports:

The defendants face 5 to 15 years in prison, if convicted.

A three-judge panel is expected to rule in days or weeks on the high-profile case, which is being closely followed by foreign companies with operations in China.

The four Rio Tinto employees, including Stern Hu, an Australian national, pleaded guilty to accepting money that prosecutors have deemed bribes.

Rio Tinto says it has no evidence its staff engaged in any wrongdoing.

But the confessions Monday, the first day of the trial, complicated a case that began last July, when the authorities in Shanghai detained the four men on suspicion of espionage and harming China’s economic interests under the country’s tough state secrets law.

March 24, 2010 12:20 PM
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