Sweden puts ex-envoy on trial over China dissident negotiations

World 2020/6/5

Sweden puts ex-envoy on trial over China dissident negotiations

Sweden´s former ambassador to China went on trial in Stockholm on Friday accused of overstepping her mandate and risking national security by trying to negotiate the release of a dissident.

Anna Lindstedt faces up to two years in prison if she is convicted of brokering an unauthorised meeting in January last year when she was ambassador.

She was trying to secure the freedom of Chinese-born Swedish citizen Gui, who published gossipy titles about Chinese political leaders in a Hong Kong book shop. He has been in jail in China almost continuously since 2015.

Lindstedt, a former envoy in both Vietnam and Mexico who acted as Sweden´s chief negotiator at the 2015 climate summit in Paris, denies the charge.

Prosecutor Henrik Olin laid out his case during Friday´s hearing, telling the court: "Anna Lindstedt was at the time Sweden´s ambassador to China, but acted outside the bounds of the mandate she had for the consular case."

He said the crime had endangered Sweden´s peaceful relations to China.

But defence lawyer Conny Cedermark replied that the only part of the prosecution´s description his client agreed with was that "Anna Lindstedt at the time was Sweden´s ambassador in China".

Gui disappeared while on holiday in Thailand in 2015 before resurfacing in mainland China, where he was put in jail.

A few months after his October 2017 release he was again arrested, this time while he was on a train to Beijing with Swedish diplomats.

In February this year, he was given 10 years in jail on charges of illegally providing intelligence abroad.

- ´Strange experience´ -

Lindstedt helped organise a meeting between Gui´s daughter, Angela Gui, and businessmen with ties to Beijing.

Angela Gui wrote in February 2019 on her blog about a "strange experience" where Lindstedt had invited her to Stockholm in

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