From Sunday Star/Times
A Chinese man, linked to his country’s secret service, has been remanded in custody in an Auckland jail and is being represented by one of New Zealand’s top lawyers.
The man was sent to jail on immigration matters and Peter Williams QC is now acting for him.
Williams told the Sunday Star-Times that his client’s background was with the Chinese government, but when asked if he was a spy, said “it’s a long complicated matter, like most things in life it’s complex”.
Williams said the matter had been “going on for a while” and played down its significance. “Countries are spying on each other all the time.”
However, he said the case was genuine and added: “There is not the slightest doubt he has been engaged in the secret service on behalf of the People’s Republic of China.”
The man was due to appear in the Auckland District Court on Friday but it was unclear if he did. A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy said it was unaware of the case.
The man’s case comes as New Zealand is considering a free trade agreement with China, raising issues about the sensitivity of how it will be handled.