A man accused of spying for China in Australia has been banned from contacting foreign intelligence agencies.
A man accused of spying for China in Australia has been banned from contacting foreign intelligence agencies.

Accused Chinese spy slapped with harsh bail conditions

A man accused of spying for China in Australia has been banned from contacting any foreign intelligence agencies or elected officials.

The restrictions are part of a host of bail conditions imposed on Surrey Hills man Di Sanh Duong, also known as Sunny Duong, who was last month charged with preparing an act of foreign interference.

Domestic spy agency, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), and the Australian Federal Police swooped on the former Liberal party candidate following a year long probe.

It is understood Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge was the target of the alleged interference.

The Saturday Herald Sun can reveal Mr Duong is barred from contacting any embassy and consulate staff, must surrender his passport and cannot possess any mobile phones while he awaits his next court date in March.

He is also banned from leaving Australia or going near any points of international departure including airports and ports.

Mr Duong was slapped with a total of ten conditions, which were relayed to him via a Vietnamese interpreter during the November 5 bail application.

Federal Agent Paul McDonald, a member of the counter foreign interference and sensitive investigations team, said authorities did not oppose bail and investigators had taken steps to curtail any risks posed by Mr Duong.

"I don't believe there to be risks to the community in relation to the offending," Mr McDonald said.

"He has strong ties to the jurisdiction, runs a business and has a young family and sister that live at (his home)," he said.

The Herald Sun last month revealed China was the country behind the alleged plot to target Minister Tudge.

Mr Duong, who has lived in Melbourne for decades, is the first person to be charged under foreign interference laws which went through the Federal Parliament in 2018.

If convicted, Mr Duong could face up to 10 years behind bars.

It is understood the charges do not allege an actual interference attempt, but rather a plan to attempt to influence Mr Tudge, by an organisation linked to the Chinese Communist Party.

Mr Duong ran as a Liberal Party candidate in the 1996 state election for the seat of Richmond.

He was set to be expelled from the party following news of his arrest, but quit ahead of the upcoming party meeting.

The alleged spy has also been stood down from his role at the Museum of Chinese Australian History.

Mr Duong must report to the Box Hill police station twice weekly via phone and will return to court for a committal mention on March 11.

genevieve.alison@news.com.au

 

Originally published as Accused Chinese spy slapped with harsh bail conditions


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