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Activists accused of fraud


FIVE leading members of a Chinese students' group in Australia have been accused of fraud involving A$100,000 (HK$558,000).

The Sydney-based Chinese Students' Human Rights Organisation was informally set up after the Beijing massacre in 1989, and formally registered about three years ago. It helps students fleeing the mainland to seek residency in Australia, and accepts donations to cover fees.

The five are group president and part-time music teacher Yang Jun, 36; vice-president and railway guard Fang Mingquan, 38; cabinet-maker Luo Jianxing 32; builder Liu Jie, 32; and postgraduate student Luo Bin, 31 - all committee members.

All five arrived in Australia as students. Each faces four charges of fraudulently taking and applying for his own use and benefit a total of A$20,000.

The defendants, who deny the charges, were arrested between April 19 and May 2. Four are on bail of A$1,000. The fifth has no bail conditions. A committal hearing has been scheduled for October.