Detained Rio exec still not charged

THE Rio Tinto executive being detained in China has yet to be charged, but fresh news reports from China suggest the incident may have something to do with attempts by the iron ore miner to see compensation from Chinese steel mills over cancelled iron ore deliveries.
Detained Rio exec still not charged Detained Rio exec still not charged Detained Rio exec still not charged Detained Rio exec still not charged Detained Rio exec still not charged

 

Kate Haycock

Consular staff visited Stern Hu late last week and have reported the Australian citizen is in good health.

In a statement, Rio iron ore chief executive Sam Walsh said he welcomed the news of Hu’s condition.

Walsh said Rio continued to work to support its detained employees and was being kept fully briefed by the Australian government.

While consular officials have been given some access to Hu, the accusations against the executive and three of his Chinese colleagues remain opaque.

Overnight Chinese media reported a new twist, this time that Rio and BHP Billiton had been seeking compensation from Chinese steel mills over broken delivery contracts. News stories are putting the value of these compensation claims at around $US9 billion.

How this information is linked to the case of Hu and the other members of the iron ore marketing group is unclear.

The executives have been accused of espionage and stealing state secrets from the Chinese government.

Australian trade minister Simon Crean met with officials in Shanghai on Saturday and expressed his concern over Hu’s detention.

Meanwhile, in Australia, the Opposition has said the Australian government is not doing enough to help Hu and has called on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to directly intervene with Chinese president Hu Jintao.

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