Swedish ex-ambassador Anna Lindstedt acquitted

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Ex-Swedish ambassador to China Anna Lindstedt at district court in Stockholm, 5 June 2020 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ex-ambassador Anna Lindstedt denied placing nationwide safety in danger

A Stockholm court docket has acquitted the Swedish ex-ambassador to China, who had been accused of going past her remit to have talks with a international 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-Swedish Gui Minhai is serving a 10-year sentence for “illegally providing intelligence overseas”.

He has written unflattering profiles of Chinese leaders.

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

Rejecting the fees, the district court docket determined that the ambassador had acted according to her mission as ambassador. It added that the 2 businessmen on the assembly couldn’t be thought-about to have represented a international energy.

In court docket, Ms Lindstedt had mentioned “it is unreal, not to say Kafkaesque to stand accused of crimes against national security”.

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

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

What is 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 Hotel in Stockholm between Angela Gui and the 2 Chinese businessmen, mentioned to have connections to the Chinese Communist Party.

Before 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 advised her “there were some businessmen she thought could help, and that they wanted to meet me in Stockholm”.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Gui was a co-owner of Causeway Bay Books, which offered books thought-about by the Chinese to be politically undesirable

She alleged that in a gathering over two days one of many businessmen had pressed her to simply 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 would possibly “punish Sweden”.

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

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

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

Who is 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 state tv confessing to a 2003 drunken driving incident.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Chinese police exterior the Swedish embassy in Beijing (file pic)

Four different Hong Kong booksellers, who had been additionally concerned in publishing racy accounts of Chinese 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.