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Former Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu ‘a free man’ after release from Chinese prison

Image: Rio Tinto

Former Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu has been released from a Chinese prison.

The Australian citizen was jailed on bribery charges eight years ago and has been released two years before the end of his sentence.

He was Rio Tinto’s top iron ore salesman in China, before being arrested in 2009 along with three other employees.

China correspondent with the Australian Financial Review Michael Smith tells Ross Greenwood “he’s finally a free man”.

He says Australia’s current relationship with China is “very rocky on many levels”.

“So this particular case, it’s probably not going to inflame the situation… it certainly won’t help things.

“The Australian government are being pretty quiet about this release, they probably don’t want to draw too much attention to it at the moment.”

As for Hu’s next movements, Mr Smith says sources close to the family report he has sought permission to spend another week in China to visit his grandparents.

“We also believe his wife who is an Australian citizen is in Shanghai and he’s being reunited with her tonight.”

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