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Ex-Royal Marine charged with being Hong Kong spy found dead in ‘unexplained’ circumstances

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A British man charged with spying for Hong Kong was mysteriously found dead in a UK park over the weekend — just days before he was set to face court.

The body of Matthew Trickett, 37, was discovered by a passerby in Grenfell Park in Maidenhead, west of London, on Sunday afternoon in what police are describing as an “unexplained death.”

Trickett, a former Royal Marine with a private security firm, was one of three men charged earlier this month with assisting Hong Kong’s foreign intelligence service on gathering information and surveillance in the UK.

Matthew Trickett, 37, was found dead in Grenfell Park in Maidenhead, west of London, on Sunday afternoon, UK police said. M.Trickett / Linkedin

He had been granted bail at a May 13 court hearing after being charged with two offenses under Britain’s National Security Act and was set to appear at London’s Central Criminal Court for a hearing on Friday.

Police said that an investigation into his death is ongoing and wouldn’t comment further.

An autopsy will be carried out to determine the cause.

Police, who described his death as “unexplained”, set up a black forensics tent near a children’s playground after his body was discovered. Getty Images

Cops were still stationed in the park late Tuesday, with several officers standing guard next to a black forensics tent near a children’s playground.

Trickett’s lawyer, Julian Hayes, said he was “shocked” at the news and wouldn’t be able to comment further given the probe.

He added that Trickett’s family were “mourning the loss of a much-loved son, brother, and family member.”

The spying case embroiling Trickett had fueled a diplomatic row between Britain and China — with Chinese authorities in both the UK and Hong Kong decrying the charges.

He had been granted bail at a May 13 court hearing after being charged with two offenses under Britain’s National Security Act and was set to appear at London’s Central Criminal Court for a hearing on Friday. AP

The Chinese Embassy in London had accused Britain of fabricating the charges against Trickett and the other two men — Chi Leung (Peter) Wai, 38, and Chung Biu Yuen, 63 — and said it had no right to interfere in Hong Kong’s affairs.

Meanwhile, Britain’s foreign ministry summoned the Chinese ambassador on May 14 to state that espionage and cyber attacks weren’t acceptable on British soil.

With Post wires

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