Trial date set for Houston woman accused of spying in China

Lawyers accuse Chinese government of illegally delaying access to evidence


HOUSTON – Lawyers for a Houston woman detained in China on spying charges said a trial date has been set in her case.

The lawyers of Sandy Phan-Gillis said her trial will begin on Sept. 19.

They said they flew to China to meet with the chief judge in the case, but the judge canceled the meeting without notice or reason.

We spoke to Phan-Gillis' husband last September. He told us she was arrested last March while on a trip with the City of Houston to promote trade.

She is accused of going on a spy mission to Guangxi, China, back in 1996.

Phan-Gillis' lawyers claim the Chinese government has taken steps to block evidence to her passport, which they said would prove she did not visit China in 1996.

The lawyers also claim they were granted access to the case file on Thursday, but were told they could not photograph or photocopy the file. Instead, they would have to transcribe it by hand.

Members of the group "Save Sandy" have been trying to get Phan-Gillis released.

Phan-Gillis could get life in prison if convicted.