A Chinese court on Wednesday jailed Canadian businessman Michael Spavor for 11 years after finding him guilty of spying in a case his country has condemned as politically motivated.
Spavor was detained in 2018 along with compatriot Michael Kovrig on what Ottawa has said are trumped-up charges after Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada on a US extradition warrant. Spavor “was convicted of espionage and illegally providing state secrets”, Dandong city’s Intermediate People’s Court said in a statement. “He was sentenced to 11 years in prison.”
The Spavor verdict comes a day after a Chinese court upheld the death sentence of another Canadian citizen on a drug smuggling conviction. Spavor and Kovrig were formally charged with spying in June last year, and their separate trials took place in March. Neither man has had contact with the outside world since being charged.
Canadian diplomats, who werebarred from entering Spavor’s three-hour trial in Dandong this March, were present during Wednesday’s verdict and sentencing. His family have maintained he was innocent of the accusations against him, saying he had done much as a businessman to “build constructive ties” between Canada, China and North Korea.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: POLISH NEWS
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