2 Canadians in China on trial over alleged espionage

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The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday said the country has put two Canadians who had been detained for the past two years on trial.

Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were detained in China on Dec. 10, 2018.

Confirming they had been indicted and tried, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said the two Canadian nationals were suspected of endangering China’s national security.

Hua denied any link to the case against Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who is being held in Canada and was detained a few days before Kovrig and Spavor in 2018.

Hua claimed that unlike Kovrig and Spavor’s detention, Meng Wanzhou’s arrest in Canada had been a political matter from the outset.

However, diplomats suspect China acted in retaliation and accuse the country of hostage diplomacy.

The independent organisation Crisis Group, on whose behalf Kovrig worked, again condemned his arrest, with president Robert Malley saying he had been detained  ”only because he was a Canadian in China in the wrong place at the wrong time”.

Meng, who is the daughter of the founder of the Chinese communications giant, was detained in Vancouver at the instigation of the U.S. authorities.

The U.S. government accuses the Huawei CFO of bank fraud in connection with evading sanctions against Iran and has requested extradition.

Meng is under house arrest in Canada. If convicted in the United States, she could face a long prison term.(dpa/NAN)

– Dec. 10, 2020 @ 14:10 GMT |

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