On Wednesday, Canada condemned China’s conviction and punishment of its citizen Michael Spavor in the “strongest possible terms.”
Spavor, who was seized by China in 2018, was sentenced to 11 years in prison by a Chinese court on espionage accusations. “This judgement is the result of a legal procedure that lacked both justice and transparency, including a trial that did not meet the minimum standards needed by international law,” said Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau in a statement on Tuesday.
Canadian Michael Spavor, who was detained by China in 2018, was sentenced to 11 years in prison by a Chinese court in Liaoning Province on espionage allegations, according to local media.
Spavor will be deported, but no date has been set. According to China Global Television Network (CGTN), the local court has also ordered that 50,000 yuan of Spavor’s personal assets be confiscated.
Spavor was arrested in China in December 2018, only days after Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver. Michael Kovrig, a Canadian national, was held alongside Spavor. Kovrig is also awaiting a decision after his trial, which concluded in March.
Former diplomat Kovrig and businessman Spavor, both Canadian citizens, have been detained in China on espionage charges. Ottawa, on the other hand, claims that these are punitive measures for Canada’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou, who was jailed in Vancouver in 2018 at the request of the US.
This decision on Michael Spavor comes just a day after a Chinese court upheld the death penalty for another Canadian, Robert Schellenberg, for cocaine smuggling, according to local media. Canada had publicly criticized Beijing’s decision to sustain Schellenberg’s death sentence.
Sino-Canadian relations deteriorated with the detention of Meng and two Canadian nationals in China.