Phan Phan-Gillis, also known as Sandy, has been deported from China, after she was convicted of espionage.
A court in Southern China sentenced the Houston businesswoman to three-and-a-half years in prison for spying. It was unclear whether she would have to serve her sentence before being deported. Her husband has reported that she had been put on a flight from Guangzhou to Los Angeles.
He has been fighting for the charge against her to be overturned. He has said that China State Security tortured Sandy into making a false confession. Sandy, who had previously denied all accusations against her, admitted she was guilty in court last week.
She was accused of espionage and passing on Intelligence to a third party.
She had been detained in March 2015 when she was with a delegation of businesspeople from Houston. She was in detention for 6 months and wasn’t allowed to see a lawyer for 14 months. The United Nations has said that her detention violated international law.
She has been welcomed home by the United States. ”We are aware that Chinese authorities deported Ms. Phan-Gillis back to the United States,” a State Department official said. “The United States welcomes her home.”
Sandy’s husband Jeff Gillis had campaigned for her release and had set up a website called savesandy.org