Canada condemns China after court sentences Michael Spavor to 11 years in prison

Canada condemns China

Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau says Canada will continue to fight for the release of Michael Spavor after a Chinese court sentenced him to 11 years in prison.

Garneau in a news conference this morning condemned the prison sentence, which followed a closed-door trial in March that Garneau says did not meet the standards of international law.

He added that Canada is working with its allies, including the United States, to secure the release of both Spavor and fellow Canadian Michael Kovrig, though he refused to provide details.

The prisoners who have become known as the two Michaels have been detained for nearly three years after they were arrested on spying allegations shortly after Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou was detained at the Vancouver airport in December 2018.

A British Columbia court is preparing to hear final arguments on whether Wanzhou should be extradited to the U.S. where she is wanted on allegations of having violated trade laws.

Spavor's sentencing followed a Chinese court's decision to uphold the death penalty for another Canadian, Robert Schellenberg, in a case that many observers have also linked to Meng's detention.

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