Rio Tinto lawyer detained in Mongolia released just in time for Christmas

An Australian lawyer for a Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) subsidiary who has been detained in Mongolia since October has obtained permission from local authorities to leave the country just in time for Christmas.

Fairfax reports that Sarah Armstrong, who was refused permission to leave Mongolia at the end of October due to the proceedings for a corruption case, arrived at Launceston Airport in Tasmania around 8 o'clock on Christmas night.

Ms Armstrong's mother Yvonne Armstrong described her daughter's long-awaited arrival home as being "a beautiful relief," and that uncertainty surrounding her release meant that the family had not prepared any dinner that evening.

Armstrong, chief lawyer for Rio subsidiary SouthGobi Resources (TSX:SCQ), was prevented from leaving Mongolia by members of local law enforcement at the end of October while attempting to board a flight for Hong Kong at Ulanbataar Airport.

Armstrong was wanted for questioning with regards to a corruption and money-laundering case, although none of the allegations of the case were directed at Armstrong herself.

SouthGobi resources announced on Monday that Mongolia's Independent Authority against Corruption had concluded its questioning of Armstrong, two months after she was first denied permission to leave the country, but that its investigations into the sale of certain SouthGobi licenses were ongoing.