Another Canadian was tried behind closed doors in Beijing for alleged espionage. Diplomats from 26 countries, including Germany, appeared in vain to reach this process. Former diplomat Michael Kovrug was arrested two years ago along with a businessman Michael Spawer.
Diplomats see it as “retaliation” for the arrest of the chief financial officer of Meng Wenzhou of Huawei, a good telecom group, two years ago in Canada. A few days later the Canadians were arrested. Beijing is therefore accused of “hostage diplomacy”. At the time of his arrest, Kovrag was working as an expert for the international crisis group think tank in China.
“He is arbitrarily detained,” said Charje D’Fair at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing Nickel, before reporters at the Second Intermediate People’s Court. “Court proceedings against Kovrug are also” not transparent “https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/.” We are very concerned about this. “The boycott of diplomats violates international agreements that China signed The reason given by the Chinese side was that it was a “so-called matter of national security” and therefore it was kept in camera for conversation behind closed court doors.
Nickel thanked him for international support and asked for an “immediate release” of Kovrig. On Friday, his compatriot Spyware, who runs a cultural exchange company with North Korea in China, was also tried for espionage in the northeast Chinese city of Dandong. Spectrum and diplomats were also not allowed to participate in this first trial as it was allegedly about state secrets.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau criticized the “arbitrary detention” and covert trials as “completely unacceptable”. Both defendants face lengthy prison terms. It is not clear when the decisions will be announced. Former Canadian ambassador to China Guy Saint-Jacques told the Canadian television broadcaster CTV about the tests: “It’s all set. It’s a hoax.” He expects a guilty verdict.
Koverig’s wife, Veena Nadjibullah, told the broadcaster: “It doesn’t matter on Monday that Michael’s innocence is out of the question.” Work must be continued to obtain a release. “The fact that it is unjust, arbitrary detention is not going to change in any way.”
Meanwhile, Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wenzhou – the daughter of the company’s founder Ren Zhengfei – is still waiting in Canada for her possible extradition decision in the United States. He was arrested in December 2018 in Vancouver under the responsibility of US officials. The US government alleged bank fraud in relation to sanctions against Iran. Meng is under house arrest under extradition proceedings pending in Canada. If convicted in the US, he faces a long prison term.