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Swedish ex-ambassador Anna Lindstedt acquitted

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Reuters

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Ex-ambassador Anna Lindstedt denied placing nationwide safety in danger

A Stockholm courtroom has acquitted the Swedish ex-ambassador to China, who had been accused of going past her remit to have talks with a overseas energy.

Anna Lindstedt had confronted a attainable jail time period for brokering a gathering to safe the discharge of a Hong Kong bookseller jailed in China.

Chinese language-Swedish Gui Minhai is serving a 10-year sentence for “illegally offering intelligence abroad”.

He has written unflattering profiles of Chinese language leaders.

The assembly brokered by Ambassador Lindstedt was between his daughter Angela Gui and two Chinese language businessmen in January 2019.

Rejecting the costs, the district courtroom determined that the ambassador had acted in step with her mission as ambassador. It added that the 2 businessmen on the assembly couldn’t be thought of to have represented a overseas energy.

In courtroom, Ms Lindstedt had mentioned “it’s unreal, to not say Kafkaesque to face accused of crimes towards nationwide safety”.

She was the primary ambassador to face fees in Sweden in 200 years.

The prosecutor argued that she had acted in violation of Swedish overseas coverage by arranging the negotiations.

What’s the background?

In February 2019 Anna Lindstedt was recalled from China as ambassador after she was accused of brokering an unauthorised assembly on the Sheraton Lodge in Stockholm between Angela Gui and the 2 Chinese language businessmen, mentioned to have connections to the Chinese language Communist Celebration.

Earlier than the assembly Ms Gui had been campaigning for her father’s launch, after which mentioned she had been invited to the assembly by Ms Lindstedt, who instructed her “there have been some businessmen she thought may assist, and that they wished to fulfill me in Stockholm”.

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Getty Pictures

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Mr Gui was a co-owner of Causeway Bay Books, which bought books thought of by the Chinese language to be politically undesirable

She alleged that in a gathering over two days one of many businessmen had pressed her to just accept a deal involving a “few years” in jail if she stopped publicising her father’s detention.

Ms Gui additionally alleged that the ambassador had backed the plan, warning her that if her publicity continued, China may “punish Sweden”.

Anna Lindstedt denied wrongdoing and mentioned nothing publicly. Nonetheless, she argued that she emailed the overseas ministry in Stockholm in regards to the assembly and as ambassador had applicable powers to behave.

She additionally denied that the assembly with the 2 businessmen constituted talks with China.

The overseas ministry says it despatched a message to her to drop the case however the former ambassador says she by no means acquired it.

Who’s Gui Minhai?

A Hong Kong bookseller with Swedish citizenship, he went lacking whereas on vacation in Thailand in 2015 and later turned up on Chinese language state tv confessing to a 2003 drunken driving incident.

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AFP

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Chinese language police outdoors the Swedish embassy in Beijing (file pic)

4 different Hong Kong booksellers, who had been additionally concerned in publishing racy accounts of Chinese language leaders, disappeared across the identical time and later appeared in custody in mainland China.

Gui Minhai was launched in 2017 however then detained on a practice to Beijing with Swedish diplomats and jailed in February this yr on fees of illegally offering intelligence overseas.


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