China to bring case against US businesswoman held for 1 year

WASHINGTON – The State Department says that Chinese authorities have informed the U.S. they will bring a legal case against an American businesswoman who has been detained for more than a year.

Spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau urged China on Friday to resolve the case of Sandy Phan-Gillis in a manner that respects international human rights.

The 56-year old consultant was detained in March 2015 during a visit to China as part of a trade delegation promoting business opportunities in her hometown of Houston.

Trudeau says the case will be brought to a court in the southern city of Nanning and that she does not know what Phan-Gillis would be charged with.

A U.N. panel reported last week that Phan-Gillis is accused of stealing state secrets. It said that her legal rights have been violated.