China sentences Australian to death for smuggling drugs
Beijing - An Australian national has been sentenced to death in
China for drug smuggling, according to the Guangzhou Intermediate
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.