Canada condemns China’s sentencing of Canadian citizen over espionage

Chinese court has sentenced 11 years of imprisonment to the Canada’s Spavor. Canada accused Chinese court of unfair trial.

“China’s conviction and sentencing of Michael Spavor is absolutely unacceptable and unjust. The verdict for Mr. Spavor comes after more than two and a half years of arbitrary detention, a lack of transparency in the legal process, and a trial that did not satisfy even the minimum standards required by international law,” Trudeau said in a statement.

Separately, Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said that the detention of Michael Spavor is completely arbitrary.

“This decision is rendered after a legal process that lacked both fairness and transparency, including a trial that did not satisfy the minimum standards required by international law,” Canadian FM added.

Canadian Michael Spavor, detained by China in 2018, has been sentenced to 11 years in prison by a Chinese court in Liaoning Province on charges of espionage.

Spavor will be deported, but it was not clear when. The local court also said 50,000 yuan of Spavor’s personal assets will be confiscated.

China detained Spavor in December 2018, a few days after Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver. Along with Spavor, another Canadian national Michael Kovrig was detained. Kovrig is also awaiting a verdict following his trial, which ended in March.

“For Mr. Spavor, as well as for Michael Kovrig who has also been arbitrarily detained, our top priority remains securing their immediate release. We will continue working around the clock to bring them home as soon as possible,” Trudeau added.

Canadian nationals – former diplomat Kovrig and businessman Spavor – have been in Chinese detention on espionage charges. Ottawa, however, maintains that these are retaliatory measures for Canada’s detention of Meng Wanzhou, who was detained in Vancouver in 2018 at the request of the United States.

This decision on Michael Spavor comes a day after a Chinese court on Tuesday upheld the death penalty for another Canadian Robert Schellenberg for drug smuggling, local media reported. Canada had strongly condemned Beijing’s decision to uphold the death sentence against Schellenberg.

Sino-Canadian relations soured after the arrest of Meng and two Canadian nationals in China.

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