Australian consular officials have been able to talk with Australian man Karm Gilespie who is facing the death penalty in China.
It was revealed last Saturday that Gilespie was sentenced to death for drug smuggling – seven years after his arrest in Guangzhou in 2013
Foreign Minister Marise Payne says Australian authorities were providing the 53-year-old Gilespie with consular assistance.
“We were able to make a visit to the detention centre today and to engage in a video conference to have that visit,” she told Seven News late on Tuesday, after delivering a sharp speech on disinformation being spread by countries such as China.
“That is a very important thing and I’m very pleased that has been conveyed back to his family.”
She said she would continue to seek that consular access, and reiterated that Australia rejects the application of the death penalty in all countries, in all circumstances.
“I’m very careful and very considered about his situation.”
Gilespie has 10 days to appeal the death penalty.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australian officials had raised his case with Chinese counterparts on a number of occasions and wre still working to secure his freedom.
His family have asked friends not to speculate on his case.
“Our family is very saddened by the situation,” his family said in a statement on Monday.
“We also request that friends and acquaintances of Karm refrain from speculating on his current circumstances, which we do not believe assists his case.”
Gilespie was arrested in 2013 with more than 7.5 kilograms of methamphetamine in his check-in luggage as he was about to board an international flight from Baiyun Airport, in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.
He had worked as an actor before turning to investing, motivational speaking and business coaching.