Publicado: 18/03/2021

Trial for Canadian detained in China to begin

Trial for Canadian detained in China to begin

Dandong (China) (AFP) -

A Canadian man detained in China for more than two years was set to face trial on Friday on espionage charges that Canada has attacked as 'trumped-up', with relations between Ottawa and Beijing at their lowest point in decades.

Michael Spavor is one of two Canadians detained, in apparent retaliation for Canada's arrest on a US extradition warrant of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, and formally charged last June with spying.

AFP saw a police van with tinted windows arriving at the court in the northeastern city of Dandong on Friday morning, surrounded by about a dozen police officers as it drove past reporters waiting outside.

Spavor's family have called for his unconditional release, insisting that he was innocent of the accusations.

His family described him as 'just an ordinary Canadian businessman who has done extraordinary things to build constructive ties' between Canada, China and North Korea.

Jim Nickel, the Charge d'affaires of the Canadian embassy in Beijing, told reporters outside the court that they were 'disappointed by the lack of transparency and the lack of access.'

He said he expected the case to begin at 10 am (0200 GMT).

A group of 10 diplomats from eight other countries including Britain, the US, France and Australia had also travelled to Dandong, in what Nickel described as a gesture of solidarity for Spavor and to 'register their opposition to arbitrary detention'.

'We appreciate the international support,' he told reporters.

Canada's foreign ministry said Thursday that Beijing had confirmed Canadian officials 'will not be granted permission to attend the trial' despite several official requests.

The trial of Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat, is scheduled to start on Monday in Beijing.

The two men have had almost no contact with the outside world since their detention.

Virtual consular visits only resumed in October after a nine-month hiatus that authorities said was due to the coronavirus pandemic.

China's judicial system convicts most people who stand trial and the two men face up to life in prison if found guilty of 'espionage' and 'providing state secrets'.

Beijing has insisted the detention of the two Canadians is lawful, while calling Meng's case 'a purely political incident'.

Meng -- whose father is Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei -- has been in a two-year battle against extradition to the US over charges the firm violated US sanctions on Iran.

Her court case in Vancouver has entered its final phase with hearings expected to end in mid-May, barring appeals.

Más en Zeta

Todavía falta algo

16 April 2021
Los que saben dicen que Chichi de Obarrio no puede cantar victotria todavía, porque Panamá debe pedir la extradición y hacer las gestiones para que lo envén al país, lo deporten o lo declaren "no grato". Los abogados de "Chichi" son más optimistas. Toto salta en un pieJosé Alberto Álvarez salta ...

Prohibir las armas de asalto en EE.UU.

ZETA, (AMY GOODMAN-DENIS MOYNIHAN).- Las masacres ocurridas recientemente en la ciudad de Boulder, en Colorado, y en el área metropolitana de la ciudad de Atlanta, en Georgia, con un saldo de diez y ocho muertos, respectivamente, son solo dos casos más de la violencia sin sentido con armas de fue...

La justicia no tiene espacios para más desatinos

ZETA, (JEAN PIERRE LEIGNADIER*).-Las próximas dos semanas, este espacio abordará dos deficiencias estructurales que la Cámara de Comercio, Industrias y Agricultura de Panamá (CCIAP) ha planteado por más de dos quinquenios e insistimos deben ser atendidas de manera urgente para enrumbar nuestro de...

Libertad económica y libre empresa

ZETA, (JEAN PIERRE LEIGNADIER*).- Desde su fundación hace 105 años, la Cámara de Comercio, Industrias y Agricultura de Panamá ha tenido como unos de sus pilares la defensa de la libertad económica y la libre empresa como factores indispensables para el progreso sostenido y sostenible del país. E...

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.