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First person charged under Australia’s foreign interference laws denies working for China

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Lawyers for the first person to be charged under Australia’s foreign interference laws have told a court that a hospital donation made through a federal government minister was not a covert attempt to curry favor on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party. Melbourne businessman and local community leader Di Sanh Duong stood trial on Friday after pleading not guilty in a Victoria state court to a charge of preparing for or planning an act of foreign interference. He is the first person to be charged under federal laws created in 2018 that ban covert foreign interference in domestic politics and make industrial espionage for a foreign power a crime. The laws offended China and accelerated a deterioration in bilateral relations.

Article Topic Follows: AP National News

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Associated Press


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