Case against foreign interference accused delayed

The case against a former Liberal Party candidate, the first person in Australia charged with a foreign interference offence, has been delayed as police wade through piles of evidence.

Di Sanh Duong, who goes by ‘Sunny’, was charged in November last year with preparing an act of foreign ­interference – following a year-long investigation.

He is facing a decade in jail if he is found guilty of spying for China.

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Di Sanh Duong has been charged under Australia’s foreign interference laws.

It’s alleged the 65-year-old’s activities went beyond routine diplomatic influence.


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Today, prosecutors asked for more time to hand over their brief of evidence, in order to make sure national security information is not shared with Mr Duong’s legal team.

The investigation by the AFP and domestic spy agency ASIO is titled “Operation Fruithof”.

So far 500 pages of witness statements have been collected by investigators, including nine hours of recording and 2.23 gigabytes of electronic material.

Some of that electronic evidence is from Mr Duong’s iPhone, which contains more than 230,000 messages on the WeChat encrypted messaging app.

More than 90 per cent of the material is in a foreign language.

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Three interpreters have been working around the clock to translate the information, but investigators have revealed because of the nature and sensitivity of this case, other translators are refusing to take on the work.

Since charges against the Chinese-Australian community leader were made public, the Royal Melbourne Hospital has returned a financial contribution from Mr Duong of $37,000 which was supposed to go towards COVID-19 research.

Federal Parliament passed the foreign interference laws in 2018.

Source: Thanks