Beijing court defers verdict at close of Cheng trial- Australia minister

A staff member closes the door after denying Australian Ambassador to China Graham Fletcher from entering the trial at Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court, in Beijing
A staff member closes the door after denying Australian Ambassador to China Graham Fletcher from entering the trial at Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court, where Australian journalist Cheng Lei is expected to face trial on state secrets charges, in Beijing, China March 31, 2022. REUTERS/Florence Lo

March 31, 2022

SYDNEY (Reuters) – The Beijing court where Australian journalist Cheng Lei went on trial on Thursday on charges of illegally providing state secrets overseas deferred its verdict at the end of proceedings, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a statement.

“The Australian Government respects the sovereignty of China’s legal system. However, Ms Cheng’s case has lacked transparency and the Australian Government has never been provided with details of the charges,” she said.

(Reporting by Kirsty Needham in Sydney; Writing by Tony Munroe; Editing by Alex Richardson)