Canada – Trial of Canadians arrested in China has begun

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Policemen at the entrance of the court in Dandong Picture: AFP

More than two years after his arrest in China, the trial of Canadian Michael Spoer began on Friday. Canadian Embassy Charge D’Fair said the hearing of espionage charges lasted for three hours.

More than two years after his arrest in China, the trial of Canadian Michael Spoer began on Friday. The espionage trial lasted just three hours, Canadian Embassy Charge D’Faires Jim Nickel told reporters in front of the courtyard in Dandong City. The verdict is still pending.

Sphere is one of two Canadians who have been imprisoned in the People’s Republic since December 2018. The businessman is in custody in the capital Beijing along the border with North Korea, along with former diplomat Michael Kovrug. In June 2020, the two were officially charged and charged with espionage. According to the Canadian government, the lawsuit against Kovrug is scheduled to begin in Beijing on Monday.

A police bus with tinted windows collided with other police cars in front of People’s Court in Dandog on Friday morning. Journalists and diplomats were not allowed to come to the box. Nickel said he was “disappointed at the lack of transparency and access”. Apart from him, ten diplomats from eight other countries including Great Britain, America, France and Australia had traveled to Dangong. Nickel spoke of a gesture of solidarity to strengthen the protest against the “arbitrary arrest” of the detectives.

The Canadian Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday that officials in Beijing did not allow Canadian diplomats to participate in the process.

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Spoer’s family is demanding his immediate release and denies the allegations. He is an “ordinary Canadian businessman” who has done “extraordinary things” to build a good relationship between Canada, China and North Korea.

This case has been causing diplomatic dispute between Canada and China for some time. The arrest of Kovig and Spoer in December 2018 was seen as retaliation for the incarceration of Meng Wenzhou, the top manager of Chinese Huawei in Canada a few days ago – and as a leverage against the government in Ottawa.

The chief financial officer of the Chinese technology giant was arrested in the responsibility of the USA during a stopover in Vancouver, Canada. Washington accused Iran of violating sanctions and demanded its extradition to the United States. The proceedings of Meng’s extradition are now well advanced.

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