Sweden’s supreme court will rule on the Chinese extradition request for Qiao Jingjun, whom the Chinese Communist Party holds responsible for a multi-million-dollar embezzlement case during his terms as director of a grain storehouse in Henan.

Qiao was arrested near Stockholm in June 2018.

The case is being closely watched as China has been accused by human rights groups Swedish prosecutors are expected to argue in favour of authorising Qiao’s extradition. Qiao’s defence is expected to argue against the extradition on human rights grounds, in a case that could set a European precedent.

The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) seeks to guarantee protection from torture and access to fair trial. Critics suggest that Qiao’s trial in China would be a show-trial, probably televised, with the defendant being pressed to confess. Moreover, he will be tried by a special tribunal in a system that oversees party members, state workers, and administrative officials, which is separate from the mainstream legal system.

The Swedish case takes place while protestors take to the streets of Hong Kong to object to a new extradition law that would require authorities in the territory to send expel suspects to the mainland.

China is pursuing a so-called SkyNet operation, seeking to capture fugitives wanted for corruption worldwide, having published a 100 most wanted list in which Qiao features as number three.