Scott Morrison 'concerned' after China sentenced Australian to death

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Jun 15, 2020, 12:49 PM(IST)

File photo: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The relations between Australia and China took a severe hit after Canberra slammed Beijing over coronavirus outbreak and demanded an independent probe

Australia's prime minister on Monday said that his government is "very sad and concerned" on Australian actor being sentenced to death in China. 

The relations between Australia and China took a severe hit after Canberra slammed Beijing over coronavirus outbreak and demanded an independent probe. 

Also read |  Australian sentenced to death in China for smuggling meth in checked flight luggage

China's authorities on Saturday revealed that Karm Gilespie, a Sydney-based actor turned investment coach has been sentenced to death on drug smuggling charges. 

Also read | 'Will not be intimidated by threats': Australian PM to China

Capital punishment was appropriate for drug offences that cause serious harm, China's foreign ministry said on Sunday, reported Reuters. 

"I and the government are very sad and concerned that an Australian citizen, Mr Karm Gilespie has been sentenced to death in China," Australian PM Scott Morrison said on Monday. 

Chinese state media said the Australian actor was arrested on New Year's eve in 2013 at Guangzhou Baiyun Airport with more than 7.5 kilograms (16 pounds) of methamphetamine in his luggage. 

The arrest, which was carried out seven years ago, was not made public and angered Gilespie's friends who were shocked by his sudden disappearance. 

"Our family is very saddened by the situation. We will not be making any public comment and ask that the media respects our privacy at this difficult time," Gilespie's family said in a statement on Monday. 

China, last year too, sentenced two Canadian nationals to death on drug trafficking charges when it was in the middle of heightened diplomatic tensions with Canada over the arrest of top Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

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