Beijing sentences Canadian spy for 11 years in prison: report

TEHRAN, Aug. 11 (MNA) – A court in China sentenced a Canadian businessman, Michael Spavor, to 11 years in prison after declaring him guilty of spying on Wednesday.

A court in China found Canadian businessman Michael Spavor guilty of spying on Wednesday, sentencing him to 11 years in prison, in a decision likely to further undermine already poor relations between China and Canada, Aljazeera reported.

Spavor, who for years ran a travel and cultural exchange business between China and North Korea, “was convicted of espionage and illegally providing state secrets”, Dandong city’s Intermediate People’s Court said in a statement.

According to The New York Times, the sentencing suggests that a court in Beijing is likely to announce a similar guilty judgment soon in a parallel spying case against another Canadian, Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat arrested about the same time as Spavor, in late 2018. The detentions occurred less than two weeks after the police in Vancouver detained a Chinese telecom executive, Meng Wanzhou, at the request of American prosecutors.

Ms. Meng remains on bail in Vancouver and has been fighting extradition to the United States, where she faces fraud charges linked to her role as the chief financial officer of the Chinese tech giant Huawei. Spavor’s conviction came amid closing arguments at the Supreme Court of British Columbia over whether Ms. Meng can be extradited.

The detentions of the two Michaels and Ms. Meng have opened a rancorous rift between Beijing and Ottawa and have added to the growing tensions between China and Canada’s democratic allies.

RHM/PR

News Code 177234

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