Suspect in UK-Hong Kong espionage case found dead News
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Suspect in UK-Hong Kong espionage case found dead

A suspect on police bail for allegedly spying for Hong Kong intelligence services in the UK has been found dead in a park, Thames Valley Police reported Tuesday. Police noted that the death, which is under investigation, is “being treated as unexplained.”

The police identified the deceased Matthew Trickett, aged 37, from Maidenhead, who was on court bail due to being charged last week with aiding the Hong Kong intelligence service.  Trickett was required to register regularly at a police station while on bail.

In a statement, Thames Valley Police said, “At around 5.15pm on Sunday (19/5) officers attended Grenfell Park, Maidenhead, following a report from a member of the public. Officers attended the scene and found a man. Emergency treatment was commenced but sadly the man was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Trickett was charged under the UK’s National Security Act alongside two others for aiding an intelligence service linked to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government. The group was alleged to have undertaken unlawful information gathering and acts of deception. The Chinese Embassy in London called the accusation a “malicious fabrication” and “unwarranted.”

Trickett’s death follows multiple instances of alleged malign activity on UK soil by actors linked to the Chinese authorities. Last month, a Parliamentary researcher and an associate were charged with espionage, and last week, the Foreign Office issued a diplomatic summons to the Chinese ambassador over espionage allegations.

England and Wales’ Independent Office for Police Conduct directed Thames Valley Police’s Professional Standards Department to investigate Trickett’s death, as the deceased had regular contact with police at the time of his death.