The verdict in the trial of Rio Tinto employees facing bribery and other charges will be delivered on 29 March, the company said.

Rio Tinto executive and Australian citizen Stern Hu is one of three Rio staff who have pleaded guilty to bribery charges – allegations made by the Chinese Government.

Among the accused only Liu Caikui, a Chinese citizen, pleaded guilty to the commercial secrets charge.

Australian consular officials are expected to be present at the court when the verdict is announced.

The four accused face jail terms of at least five years if found guilty of bribery.

Hu was Rio Tinto’s lead negotiator in talks with Chinese steel mills to try and settle a price for China to buy iron ore from Australian mining companies.