A Houston woman detained in China since March of 2015 has been indicted by a Chinese court on charges of spying.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Phan “Sandy” Phan-Gillis is accused of attempting to commit espionage and recruit Chinese citizens as spies while on a business trip to Southern China in 1996.

Phan-Gillis was detained at an immigration post in Nanning, China in March of last year while traveling as part of a trade delegation promoting business opportunities in Houston. Chinese officials did not release details about her detention until the Nanning Intermediate People's Court accepted the government's charges against her on July 11, 2016.

Phan-Gillis' husband, Jeff Gillis, told the Associated Press that his wife's lawyer received the indictment weeks after it was issued in court, and says his wife's passport shows she did not visit China in 1996. Chinese officials accuse Phan-Gillis of comitting her alleged crimes between June and July of 1996.

In June of 2016, a United Nations panel ruled that China is violating international human rights norms by denying Phan-Gillis access to legal assistance or meetings with judicial authorities, the AP reports.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Jeff Gillis is trying to revive efforts to pressure the Obama administration to intervene on his wife's behalf ahead of President Barack Obama's visit to China this weekend as part of a G20 meeting.


More From KTEM-AM