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Australian sentenced to death in China for drug trafficking

For representational purpose only. According to Chinese local media, the man was arrested at Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, northwest of Hong Kong, in December 2013 with more than 7.5 kg of methamphetamine in his checked luggage.

For representational purpose only. According to Chinese local media, the man was arrested at Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, northwest of Hong Kong, in December 2013 with more than 7.5 kg of methamphetamine in his checked luggage.   | Photo Credit: istock.com/s-c-s

This could inflame tensions with China.

An Australian national has been sentenced to death in China for drug trafficking, in a ruling that could further inflame tensions between Beijing and Canberra.

Australia’s Foreign Ministry said it was “deeply saddened” by the verdict and reiterated the country’s opposition to capital punishment.

The man, named in Chinese pinyin as “Kamu Jielaisibi” and identified by Australian media as Cam Gillespie, was handed the death penalty by Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court on Wednesday, according to a notice posted on the court website. The notice revealed no details about the defendant besides his Australian nationality.

According to Chinese local media, the man was arrested at Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, northwest of Hong Kong, in December 2013 with more than 7.5 kg of methamphetamine in his checked luggage. A spokesperson for Australia’s Foreign Ministry said consular assistance was being provided to the man, but they would not confirm his identity citing privacy obligations.

China is Australia’s largest trading partner, as well as a major source of lucrative international students and tourists.

But relations have been troubled in recent years and worsened after China reacted furiously to Australia’s call for an independent probe into the origins of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. Beijing subsequently imposed tariffs on Australian barley and issued travel warnings to tourists and students over virus-linked racism against ethnic Asians in the country.

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Printable version | Aug 3, 2020 12:24:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/australian-sentenced-to-death-in-china-for-drug-trafficking/article31822711.ece

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