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US court delays trial of Chinese fugitive's ex-wife


04-06-2016 14:20 BJT

A US court has delayed the hearing of an ex-wife of a wanted former Chinese official.

The Central District Court of California announced on Tuesday that the hearing of Zhao Shilan, who has been charged with immigration fraud and money laundering, will be postponed to February 2017.

The trial signals a new chapter of cooperation between China and the US on joint investigation of crimes. Let's take a look at the background to the case.

Zhao Shilan is the ex-wife of former Chinese official Qiao Jianjun, who sits number-3 on the list of 100 wanted Chinese fugitives at large abroad.

The 52-year-old Chinese woman was arrested and indicted in Washington last March.

US prosecutors say the divorced couple laundered money from China to buy properties in Seattle. The money is from fraudulent transactions at the grain storehouse in Zhoukou City in Central China's Henan Province, where Qiao was the former director.

Zhao is accused of lying about their marriage status as part of a scheme to funnel stolen money into the United States, and to immigrate there.

If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of five years in jail for the charges of conspiracy to commit international transport of stolen funds and immigration fraud, 10 years for the immigration fraud charge, and 20 years for the money laundering conspiracy charge.

However, her ex-husband Qiao remains at large and is being sought.

He's accused of fleeing to the United States after embezzling some 300 million yuan from a state granary operation.

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