Beijing, Jul 5 (IANS): Canadian officials say they have been barred from the trial of billionaire Xiao Jianhua by Chinese authorities.
The Chinese-Canadian tycoon's trial was said to have started on Monday, five years after he disappeared from a luxury Hong Kong hotel, the BBC reported.
His case remains shrouded in secrecy, and the authorities have not specified what charges he faces.
Chinese authorities have yet to comment publicly on the trial, or said where it is taking place.
On Tuesday, in a statement to reporters, Canada's Embassy in China said their consular officials had made "several requests" to attend the trial proceedings, BBC reported.
"Our attendance was denied by Chinese authorities."
The trial was due to begin on Monday, the Embassy said earlier.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Monday he was unaware of the situation, when asked about the trial during a daily press briefing.
In 2017, Xiao was whisked away from the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong, where he was understood to have been living at the time.
His family filed a missing person's report with Hong Kong authorities after he disappeared, but withdrew it a day later, saying they had "regained contact" with Xiao.
Hong Kong police said surveillance footage at the scene showed Xiao did not leave the hotel under duress, but refused to release the footage.
Xiao later issued a statement that was run on the front page of a popular newspaper saying he was receiving medical treatment abroad. He also praised the "rule of law" in China and said that he had not been kidnapped and taken to the Chinese mainland.