Now that the dust has begin to settle, there are some left-over questions from the Rio Tinto case.
First, a quick recap of the sentences, since no one seems to have published them in full:
Stern Hu (Rio’s former head of iron ore sales in China)
7 years for taking bribes, 500,000 yuan ($73,000) confiscated.
5 years for stealing commercial secrets, 500,000 fine.
He will serve ten years.
13 years for taking bribes, 5m yuan confiscated.
3 years for stealing commercial secrets, 200,000 yuan fine.
He will serve 14 years.
6 years for taking bribes, 500,000 yuan confiscated.
3 years for stealing commercial secrets, 300,000 yuan fine.
He will serve 8 years.
5 years for taking bribes, 300,000 yuan confiscated.
4 years for stealing commercial secrets, 400,000 yuan fine.
He will serve 7 years.
Some questions I have left over:
1.All four of the men were found guilty of taking bribes and had money confiscated. But why was the amount confiscated so small?
Stern Hu was convicted of taking $935,000 of bribes, but only had the equivalent of $146,000 confiscated. Wang Yong, meanwhile, only lost a fraction of the $10m he was alleged to have taken.
2.All four men were found guilty of stealing commercial secrets and Rio Tinto was accused of using the inside information to sabotage the annual iron ore price negotiations with the China Iron and Steel Association.
In which case: Why has Rio Tinto not been punished for its role? After all, it was the company who benefited from the commercial secrets, not the four men.
3.Rio Tinto’s internal forensic investigation uncovered no evidence of any wrongdoing by the company. But the Chinese court implied that Stern Hu had passed the “commercial secrets” to the iron ore contract negotiating team. Who is right?