Australian Journalist Cheng Lei Faces Trial in China on Spying Charges

Australian journalist Cheng Lei faced a closed-door trial in a court in Beijing on Tuesday, March 30. 

Lei, who was a former anchor for the Chinese government’s English-language TV channel CGTN, has been in detention for 19 months following accusations that she provided state secrets to foreigners, a report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) said. 

Graham Fletcher, Australia’s Ambassador to China, was turned away when he tried to get into the court building. 

This is the first time that Lei appeared in court. 

The hearing, which lasted for three hours, handed down a verdict on Lei. 

A sentence for Lei is expected at a later date. 

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