While the chief financial officer of telecommunications giant Huawei in Canada is challenging an extradition to the United States, China is bringing two Canadian justices for espionage. He faces a lengthy prison sentence.
Another Canadian was charged with alleged espionage in a secret trial in Beijing. Diplomats from 26 countries, including Germany, searched in vain for a hearing in the Second Intermediate People’s Court on Monday. Former diplomat Michael Kovrug was arrested two years ago along with a businessman, Michael Spawers.
Diplomats see “retaliation” for the arrest of the chief financial officer of the Chinese telecommunications group Huawei, Meng Wenzhou, 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, Kovil was working for an international crisis group think tank in China.
“He was arbitrarily detained,” Jim Nickel, executive director of the Canadian Embassy of Beijing, said in front of the court. The process is also “not transparent”. “We are very worried about it.” The boycott of diplomats violates international agreements that China has signed.
The reason given by the Chinese side was that it was a “so-called matter of national security” and hence negotiations were being held behind closed doors. The managing director called for Kovrig’s “immediate release”.
On Friday, Spotter, a Canadian businessman who runs a company for cultural exchanges with North Korea in China, was also tried for espionage in the north-east Chinese city of Dandong. Spectrum and diplomats were also not allowed to participate in this first trial.
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.
Hua Chunying, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Office, withdrew the allegations and called for “interference in the sovereignty of the judiciary in China”. “Because the cases are about state secrets, the hearing is not public.” Canadian courts can also rule in such cases. “We urge Canada to stop enforcing the double standards.” Asked if both Canadians in Canada can expect Canada not to extradite Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer in the US, she said: “The most important thing is that Canada rectify its mistakes, freeing Ms. Meng And allow him to return to China. “
The daughter of Huawei company founder Ren Zhengfei is 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 in Canada.
Regarding television in Canada, Guy Saint-Jacques, former ambassador to China, expects a guilty verdict against the Canadians: “It is all agreed. It is a hoax,” he says.