© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Flags of Canada and China are positioned for the primary China-Canada financial and monetary technique dialogue in Beijing, China, November 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Pool
By Yew Lun Tian and David Ljunggren
BEIJING/OTTAWA (Reuters) -A Chinese language court docket upheld on Tuesday a Canadian man’s loss of life sentence for drug smuggling a day earlier than one other court docket is because of rule on the case of one other Canadian accused of spying.
The court docket proceedings for the 2 Canadians come as legal professionals in Canada representing the detained chief monetary officer of telecoms big Huawei make a ultimate push to persuade a court docket there to not extradite her to america, the place she faces expenses linked to violating sanctions.
Robert Schellenberg was arrested for drug smuggling in 2014 and jailed for 15 years in late 2018.
He appealed however a court docket within the metropolis of Dalian sentenced him to loss of life in January 2019, a month after Huawei govt Meng Wanzhou was arrested at Vancouver Worldwide Airport on a warrant from america, charged with deceptive HSBC Holdings (NYSE:) PLC about Huawei’s enterprise dealings in Iran, probably inflicting the financial institution to violate American financial sanctions.
Meng, who has mentioned she is harmless, has been combating her extradition from beneath home arrest in Vancouver.
The Excessive Courtroom within the northeast province of Liaoning heard Schellenberg’s attraction towards the loss of life sentence in Might final yr and confirmed the decision on Tuesday.
Chatting with reporters by phone after attending the listening to, Canada’s ambassador to China, Dominic Barton, condemned the choice and referred to as for China to grant clemency.
“It isn’t a coincidence that these are taking place proper now, whereas the case is occurring in Vancouver,” Barton mentioned, referring to Schellenberg’s case and that of one other Canadian, Michael Spavor.
China has rejected the suggestion the circumstances of the Canadians in China are linked to Meng’s case in Canada although China has warned of unspecified penalties except Meng was launched.
The Chinese language overseas ministry didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
Businessman Spavor was detained in China days Meng’s arrest in Vancouver. He charged with espionage in June final yr and went to trial in March.
Barton mentioned a court docket within the northeastern metropolis of Dandong, on a river bordering North Korea, is predicted to announce a verdict on Spavor on Wednesday.
One other Canadian, former diplomat Michael Kovrig, was additionally arrested in China days after Meng’s arrest and charged with espionage. His trial was carried out in March. His embassy had no information about when he could be sentenced.
Chinese language courts have a conviction charge of greater than 99%.
Some observers have mentioned the seemingly convictions of each Spavor and Kovrig might in the end facilitate an settlement wherein they’re launched and despatched again to Canada.
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