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Pensioner indicted over China spy scandal

The Local · 15 Dec 2009, 15:37

Published: 15 Dec 2009 15:37 GMT+01:00

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Charges filed by prosecutor Tomas Lindstrand accuse the Mandarin-speaking Swedish citizen of illegally gathering intelligence on people of Uighur origin living in Sweden.

Intelligence agency Säpo arrested the suspect on June 4th after a lengthy investigation and surveillance period for allegedly gathering information on Sweden's 100-strong Uighur community.

The suspect came to Sweden as a political refugee in the 1990s. If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison.

According to the indictment, the 61-year-old passed on information to two handlers about members of Uighur clubs and associations in Sweden, Norway, Germany and the United States.

His handlers consisted of a diplomat attached to the Chinese embassy in Stockholm and a Chinese journalist, both of whom were tasked by Chinese intelligence services with securing details in Sweden about the interpersonal relationships of Uighurs.

The Swedish government expelled a Chinese diplomat earlier this year following revelations that the Chinese embassy was allegedly involved in spying on political refugees residing in Sweden.

According to the indictment, the suspect reported extensively on activity within the World Uyghur Congress (an umbrella organization for exiled Uighur groups), relayed notes taken during meetings with members of the Uighur community, and provided details of the local Uighur leaders' levels of political access.

By befriending his targets and pretending to sympathize with them, he was also able to supply his handlers with details on the political asylum status of people of particular interest to the Chinese authorities, as well as information about their health, current whereabouts, travel patterns and telephone numbers.

The suspect's intelligence gathering operation earned him rewards in the form of money and services, and spanned the period from January 2008 to June 2009.

Prosecutors said the crimes of which he was accused were of an aggravated nature as they were systematic, had been undertaken in a professional manner for a long period of time and could potentially cause serious damage to a large number of people.

Story continues below…

Most ethnic Uighurs live in China's Xinjiang autonomous region. China regularly condemns militant Uighur nationalists as "terrorists" and accuses the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) of carrying out attacks.

A recent US State Department human rights report accuses China of having stepped up repression of the Uighur community.

Paul O'Mahony/AFP

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:57 December 15, 2009 by 2394040
The Chinese obviously pay a higher wage, at least to foreigners. In their own country, it tends to be somewhat different.
18:59 December 15, 2009 by Beavis
lucky him getting a pension at 61 :)
20:50 December 15, 2009 by Michael84
that basta..
21:02 December 15, 2009 by Tomandjerry
sounds great!!working as a spy and earning loads of money for only 4 years in the jail..

someone wanna hire me as a spy in sweden?

anyway, i do feel the secutity of sweden..as a problem

anyone that spies in sweden for other governments get only 4 years in prison..it is really a fairy tale
22:26 December 15, 2009 by Lostaussie
I wonder if they will lose the pension after this :)
03:29 December 16, 2009 by arnuxii
Sweden is great at supporting terrorists and undermining attempts to monitor them.

That is what makes left-liberals so awesome, their belief that you don't have to consider the consequences of your actions, you just act according set principles.
05:53 December 16, 2009 by coolguy09
i wonder what he spys own

Piratebay activites, porn sites,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,lol
12:53 December 16, 2009 by Beynch
The Chinese appear to have developed a pattern in spying on western nations. The examples in the U.S. are many. England has had its share. Spain. Canada. Perhaps enhanced vigilance is in order, maybe even some good old fashioned 'profiling` would go a long way towards stemming their sticky fingers. Time to escalate the issue with the Chinese government.
03:24 December 17, 2009 by lingonberrie
Yes, and perhaps even "rendering" them for "rendition" to the CIA as proper cargo for torture in Saudii Arabia and the several former rump-states in the Near-East, too.

However, China is a master at this game as well.

They would not waste their time "rendering" but instead extirpate any and all that they even suspect, including the CIA agents from "The Farm" in Virgina. They might even torture a few to stay in practice, and release them because they know that after they have tortured them that they are useless for anything.

They also know that America would do nothing but shake their fists, because China is not Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan.
13:46 December 17, 2009 by Beynch
@lingonberrie: Yes, lingonberrie. The U.S. is scared out of its wits of the Chinese menace. Which is why we need this Ohabamo(or whatever his name is), and his leftist Senate cohorts, to be voted out of office, the sooner the better.
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