Sweden detains Chinese man again, this time at U.S. request

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden has detained a fugitive Chinese official at the request of the United States and expects it to make a formal request for his extradition, a Swedish prosecutor said on Monday.

Qiao Jianjun was released from Swedish custody on Wednesday, an indication Sweden’s supreme court will turn down an earlier Chinese request for his extradition, according to his Swedish lawyer, Henrik Olsson Lilja.

The United States indicted Qiao in 2015 in his absence on charges of money laundering and immigration fraud. In 2018, China asked Sweden to extradite Qiao, who has been on the run since 2011 from Chinese prosecutors, in connection with suspicions he had embezzled millions of dollars.

Swedish prosecutor Marie Lind Thomsen said Swedish police had arrested Qiao, the former director of a government grain storage facility in China, on Sunday.

“We received a (U.S.) request for his arrest and (a notice that) we will receive from them a request for his extradition,” she said, confirming Swedish media reports on Monday. Olsson Lilja said Qiao would oppose all U.S. charges and contest his extradition.

Lind Thomsen and Olsson Lilja both declined to say in relation to what allegations the United States requested Qiao’s arrest.

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