China sentenced Canadians to 11 years in prison, and the case was deemed to be related to the trial of Huawei’s chief financial officer


China politics and policy updates

On Wednesday, a Chinese court sentenced a Canadian citizen to 11 years in prison for espionage in a case known as “hostage diplomacy” in retaliation for the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver.

According to a statement issued by the Dandong Intermediate People’s Court, Michael Spavor, who conducted cultural exchanges between China and North Korea, was convicted of illegally providing state secrets to foreigners. It added that Spavor will also be fined 50,000 yuan (US$7,715) and deported after serving his sentence.

The decision was announced the day after the Liaoning Provincial Higher People’s Court upheld the death sentence of another Canadian citizen, Robert Schellenberg, who was found guilty of planning to ship 225 kg of methamphetamine to Australia. He denied the allegations.

The two rulings were made during the final debate in Canada to determine whether Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou will be fired. Extradited to the U.S..

Meng is also the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, founder of the technology group. The US authorities charged her with conspiracy to defraud and violate sanctions against Iran.

She was granted bail early in the extradition hearing and has been living in her Vancouver mansion with relatively few electronic surveillance.

Beijing insists that the trials of Schellenberg, Spavor, and the third Canadian former diplomat, Kang Mingkai, are handled in accordance with Chinese law.

The three are in Pretrial detention center, The lights here are always on, and sports and leisure time are strictly limited.

Development time of the three cases Often reflect During Meng’s extradition hearing, major human rights organizations and former Canadian diplomats accused China of “hostage diplomacy”. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the detention as “arbitrary.”

This Closed door test The Kovrig and Spavor lawsuit was held in March, shortly before Meng’s legal team stated that she had stopped the lawsuit against her due to abusive procedures.

Schellenberg was originally sentenced to 15 years in prison in November 2018, but his sentence was Come back from the dead Two months later, he appealed the decision.

Meng was arrested in December 2018.

The confidentiality of Canadian trials and the highly politicized nature of the charges against them raise concerns about due process.

Schellenberg’s lawyer, Zhang Dongshuo, said that a letter he sent to his client on Friday provided guidance on potential results before the judgment, but the detention center where he was held refused. The authorities stated that the letter could not be delivered due to Covid-19 containment measures.

Tobias Smith, a Chinese legal expert at the Wilson Center in Washington think tank, said that Schellenberg’s case will be transferred to the Supreme People’s Court for review, and the review process “will be more opaque than his trial.”

“The recent verdict only prolonged Mr. Schellenberg’s current status of legal uncertainty for more than five years,” he said.

Smith added that although the review process can modify the sentence to a suspended death sentence, it also allows the court to “set aside the case indefinitely.”


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