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Court Proceedings Resume Against American in Beijing - 2001-11-26

Court proceedings resumed Monday in Beijing against an American electrical engineer accused of bribery and stealing state secrets. U.S. officials say defense lawyers were able to present new evidence at the hearing. Fong Fuming is among several businessmen and scholars with links to the United States who have been tried recently on security charges in China. It is unclear when the court will render its verdict in the Fong case.

Chinese officials accuse 66-year old Fong Fuming of paying thousands of dollars in bribes to obtain information about China's electrical power generation industry.

A U.S. embassy spokesman says the judge allowed Mr. Fong's lawyers to present new evidence in the case and then closed the hearing. The spokesman said it is not clear when a verdict will be issued.

Mr. Fong is originally from China and worked in China's power industry before moving to the United States and changing citizenship. He has been an advisor to companies trying to do more business in China's expanding electrical power industry.

After a hearing in October, Chinese judges called for an unusual second hearing to consider new evidence and information raised by Mr. Fong's attorney.

Earlier, Mr. Fong's lawyers said officials broke Chinese law by keeping their client in jail long past the deadline for either indicting him or letting him go. They also complain that police kept Mr. Fong's lawyers from meeting with him for more than a year, hampering his defense.

Mr. Fong has been detained for more than a year.

Chinese officials have denied allegations that the case was handled improperly.