AN Australian lawyer trapped in Mongolia withstood hours of questioning overnight from authorities and is now said to be resting.
Sarah Armstrong, 32, was stopped from boarding a plane to Hong Kong from Mongolia a week ago over alleged dealings by her Rio Tinto-owned employer, SouthGobi Resources.
Friend Luke Dean said Ms Armstrong had contacted him at 4pm on Friday to say she had been called in for more questioning. He said she had again contacted him at 4.5 hours later via text message to say the questioning was finally over.
"I'm waiting to talk to her, she was pretty exhausted," Mr Dean said.
Ms Armstong's mother, Yvonne Armstrong said her daughter now had four body guards.
"We haven't heard from her since yesterday," Mrs Armstrong told The Sunday Age.
"We don't really know what is going on there and this is probably the most nervous I have been about her," she said.
Ms Armstrong is a regular business traveller in and out of Mongolia as an employee of SouthGobi Resources and has been living in Hong Kong.
Australian consul general David Lawson accompanied Ms Armstrong and her lawyer to the interrogation. Mr Lawson was seeking answers as to why Ms Armstrong had been held by authorities.
The Mongolian embassy in Canberra has refused to answer questions about what laws they were using to hold Ms Armstrong in Mongolia and the nature of the investigation.
Mongolian media have speculated that Ms Armstrong was questioned by the Independent Authority Against Corruption over possible bribery investigation between SouthGobi and D. Batkhuyag, the former chairman of the Minerals Resources Authority in Mongolia.
On May 8, the anti-corruption agency raided SouthGobi's offices in Ulaanbaatar.