Hong Kong urges U.K.transparency over death of alleged spy Matthew Trickett

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Matthew Trickett

24th May 2024 – (Hong Kong) Algernon Yau, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, met with Britain’s deputy counsel-general to address concerns regarding the unexplained death of Matthew Trickett in Maidenhead, southern England. Trickett, a 37-year-old former Royal Marine and employee of a private security firm, was recently charged under Britain’s National Security Act but died under mysterious circumstances.

The incident has stirred significant international interest due to the sensitive nature of the charges against Trickett, who was accused alongside two others of assisting a foreign intelligence service in Britain. The charges, framed within the context of legislation enacted last year to counteract foreign state threats, allege that from December to May, the trio engaged in espionage activities including information gathering and surveillance.

Hong Kong, a former British colony now under Chinese sovereignty since 1997, has expressed serious concerns through Yau’s office. In his dialogue with British officials, Yau emphasised the need for transparency and an open account of the events leading to Trickett’s death, particularly because he was in the custody of UK authorities at the time.

The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau’s statement highlighted the significance of maintaining the operational integrity of Hong Kong’s Economic and Trade Office in London, suggesting that unresolved questions surrounding Trickett’s death could impact bilateral relations. Moreover, the Chinese Embassy in London has criticised the charges as unfounded, accusing Britain of interfering in Hong Kong’s internal matters.