18 May 2010

Rio Tinto workers lose espionage appeals

9:07 am on 18 May 2010

Three former Rio Tinto employees in China have lost an appeal against their convictions for commercial espionage.

An Australian, Stern Hu, did not appeal against his conviction but three former colleagues did.

The ABC reports a Shanghai court has rejected their appeals and the four will now move from a high-security detention centre to a normal prison.

The judge upheld the finding that the four used improper means to acquire the commercial secrets of Chinese steel companies.

Their sentences are between seven and 14 years in prison.

Two Chinese steel company executives, Tan Yixin and Wang Hongjiu, were also tried in secret for leaking information to the Rio Tinto staff.

Their verdicts are yet to be announced.