File picture: Tingshu Wang/Reuters
File picture: Tingshu Wang/Reuters

China sentences Australian to death for smuggling drugs

By Ryan Ho Kilpatrick And Subel Bhandari Time of article published Jun 13, 2020

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Beijing - An Australian national has been sentenced to death in

China for drug smuggling, according to the Guangzhou Intermediate

People's Court.

Australian Cam Gillespie was arrested with over 7.5 kilograms of

methamphetamine in his check-in luggage in 2013 while attempting to

board an international flight from Baiyun Airport in the southern

Chinese city of Guangzhou.

The court also ordered that all of Gillespie's personal property be


Australia said on Saturday it was providing consular assistance,

although access to prisoners remains difficult due to Covid-19

restriction measures implemented by the Chinese government. 

"We are deeply saddened to hear of the verdict made in his case," a

spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told

dpa, adding: "Australia opposes the death penalty in all

circumstances for all people."

Convicted drug smugglers face long prison sentences or the death

penalty in China.

Foreigners previously executed by China for drug charges include a

Japanese national in 2014, a Filipina in 2013 and a Briton in 2009.

Last year, China sentenced two Canadians to death for drug-related

crimes following the arrest in Vancouver of Huawei executive Meng


Their detention was seen by some as a retaliatory move by Beijing for

the proceedings against Meng.

Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, another Canadian, received the death

sentence after a sudden retrial in which the court deemed his

previous 15-year prison sentence too lenient.

New Zealander Peter Gardner is still awaiting sentencing after

allegedly attempting to smuggle methamphetamine out of Guangzhou's

Baiyun Airport in 2014. 


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