Australian TV anchor has closed trial on state secrets charges

Beijing: The sentencing of Australian journalist Cheng Lei by a Chinese court over accusations of supplying state secrets overseas was deferred on Thursday, with Canberra decrying the trial of a woman detained for 18 months so far as “closed and opaque”.

Cheng — a mother-of-two and a former anchor on Beijing’s state broadcaster CGTN — has been detained since August 2020. In February last year she was formally arrested for “illegally supplying state secrets overseas”.

But Chinese authorities have given no further information on the allegations against her and on Thursday denied the Australian ambassador to China and other diplomats access to the court.

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