Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor: China charges Canadians with spying

China has charged two Canadians with spying, more than 18 months after they were detained.

Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat, and Michael Spavor, a businessman, have been held in China since December 2018.

Their arrest came just days after Meng Wanzhou - an executive of the Chinese giant Huawei - was detained in Vancouver, at the request of the US.

Canada called the arrests "arbitrary", but China denies they were retaliation for Ms Meng's detention.

Both men have been charged with "spying on national secrets" and providing intelligence for "outside entities". 

China's court system is completely controlled by the Communist Party and has an almost 100% conviction rate once defendants are charged, notes the BBC's Stephen McDonell in Beijing.

What is the timeline?

Meng Wanzhou - the chief financial officer of Huawei, and daughter of the company's founder - was arrested on 1 December 2018 in Vancouver.

Her arrest was requested by the US, who accuse her of breaking Iranian sanctions. She is still fighting extradition to the US.

On 10 December, the Canadians were detained. They were formally arrested in May 2019, after which they had 13-and-a-half months to be charged.

In September, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused China of "using arbitrary detention as a tool to achieve political goals".

How have they been treated?

Michael Kovrig's employer, the Crisis Group, says on its website that Mr Kovrig has not seen a lawyer or his family since the detention, and that he only has "periodic consular visits".

"Michael's work has included meeting...Chinese officials, academics and analysts from multiple Chinese state institutions," the Crisis Group said.

 

"He has attended numerous conferences at the invitation of Chinese organisations. He frequently appears on Chinese television and in other media to comment on regional issues.

"Nothing Michael does has harmed China."

The Free Michael Spavor website, updated earlier this year, said he was "behind bars, without his family, and without access to lawyers".

"Michael is an earnest, genuine, and impossibly fun person, who we believe has been detained in error," the website says.

In April 2019, it was reported that both men were being interrogated for between six to eight hours a day, and were sometimes subject to 24-hour artificial lighting.

The Chinese government says the men are in "good health".

What is the latest with Meng Wanzhou?

Last month, a Canadian court ruled that her case could go forward.

A judge found the case meets the threshold of double criminality - meaning the charges would be crimes in both the US and Canada.

Her lead defence lawyer, Richard Peck, argued that Canada is effectively being asked "to enforce US sanctions".

A year after her arrest, Ms Weng released an open letter, detailing her life in detention at her home in Vancouver.

"Over the past year, I have also learned to face up to and accept my situation," she said. "I'm no longer afraid of the unknown."

She also said she finally had time to "read a book cover to cover," or "carefully complete an oil painting". BBC

 
 

Other News

.
Brunei stresses significance of UNCLOS to dispute settlement in East Sea
Brunei stresses significance of UNCLOS to dispute settlement in East Sea
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  22/07/2020 

The Brunei Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Brunei Darussalam) has reaffirmed its commitment to the maintenance of peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

Steering Committee for Vietnam-China Bilateral Cooperation holds 12th meeting
Steering Committee for Vietnam-China Bilateral Cooperation holds 12th meeting
POLITICSicon  22/07/2020 

Vietnam and China defined major tasks in the time ahead to beef up their comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in a sustainable way, 

ASEAN Regional Forum Senior Officials Meeting held via video conference
ASEAN Regional Forum Senior Officials Meeting held via video conference
POLITICSicon  22/07/2020 

The ASEAN Regional Forum Senior Officials’ Meeting (ARF SOM) was held via video conference on July 21 under the chair of Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung.

EU mobilises over $900 million to help ASEAN battle COVID-19
EU mobilises over $900 million to help ASEAN battle COVID-19
POLITICSicon  22/07/2020 

The European Union has mobilised a “Team Europe” package of over 800 million EUR (920 million USD) to support ASEAN nation in the fight against COVID-19.

ASEAN+3 discusses COVID-19 response plans
ASEAN+3 discusses COVID-19 response plans
POLITICSicon  21/07/2020 

China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK) affirmed their support for ASEAN’s initiatives in promoting co-operation to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic at an online meeting of ASEAN+3 Senior Officials’ Meeting on Monday.

Portland protests: Trump threatens to send officers to more US cities
Portland protests: Trump threatens to send officers to more US cities
POLITICSicon  21/07/2020 

President Donald Trump has threatened to send more federal law enforcement officers to major US cities to control ongoing protests.

Coronavirus: EU leaders reach recovery deal after marathon summit
Coronavirus: EU leaders reach recovery deal after marathon summit
POLITICSicon  21/07/2020 

After four days of fractious talks, leaders approve €750bn ($859bn) in aid to hard-hit member states.

Sri Lanka and Vietnam celebrate 50 years of formal diplomatic relations
Sri Lanka and Vietnam celebrate 50 years of formal diplomatic relations
POLITICSicon  21/07/2020 

Ambassador Walpita Gamage Sampath Prasanna sends a message to Việt Nam News readers to celebrate 50th anniversary of friendship between Vietnam and Sri Lanka.

Inspection Commission decides disciplinary measures on ranking officials
Inspection Commission decides disciplinary measures on ranking officials
POLITICSicon  21/07/2020 

The Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission issued an announcement on July 20 about the outcomes of its 46th session from July 15-17 under the chair of Secretary of the Party Central Committee and its head Tran Cam Tu.

Online meeting talks post-2025 ASEAN Community Vision
Online meeting talks post-2025 ASEAN Community Vision
POLITICSicon  21/07/2020 

In Vietnam’s capacity as the ASEAN Chair, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung on July 20 chaired an online inter-sectoral meeting of ASEAN senior officials to discuss orientations to building post-2025 ASEAN Community Vision.

Deputy FM chairs ASEAN+3 Senior Officials’ Meeting
Deputy FM chairs ASEAN+3 Senior Officials’ Meeting
POLITICSicon  21/07/2020 

Nguyen Quoc Dung, Deputy Foreign Minister and head of SOM ASEAN of Vietnam, as the Chair of the ASEAN and the ASEAN+3 cooperation framework, 

US election 2020: Kanye West launches unconventional bid for presidency
US election 2020: Kanye West launches unconventional bid for presidency
POLITICSicon  20/07/2020 

Fans have questioned whether the rapper's last-minute bid for the presidency is genuine.

Vietnam actively engages in UN Human Rights Council’s 44th session
Vietnam actively engages in UN Human Rights Council’s 44th session
POLITICSicon  20/07/2020 

A Vietnamese delegation, led by Ambassador Le Thi Tuyet Mai - Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other international organisations in Geneva, Switzerland – 

A patriotic intellectual in profile
A patriotic intellectual in profile
POLITICSicon  21/07/2020 

With extraordinary patriotism and energy, lawyer Nguyen Huu Tho overcame many temptations and the constraints of society at the time to become a leader of the South Vietnam liberation force,

Coronavirus: EU leaders start third day of recovery talks
Coronavirus: EU leaders start third day of recovery talks
POLITICSicon  19/07/2020 

As global cases rise by record numbers, EU leaders struggle to reach a deal on a recovery package.

Vietnam, New Zealand Prime Ministers to hold virtual summit this month
Vietnam, New Zealand Prime Ministers to hold virtual summit this month
POLITICSicon  17/07/2020 

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and New Zealand’s counterpart Jacinda Ardern will hold online summit on July 22, Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang told reporters Thursday.

US tech and film 'collaborating' with China - US Attorney General William Barr
US tech and film 'collaborating' with China - US Attorney General William Barr
POLITICSicon  17/07/2020 

US Attorney General William Barr has accused Hollywood and US tech firms of "collaborating" with the Chinese government to do business there.

Vietnam reaffirms sovereignty over Spratly and Paracels islands
Vietnam reaffirms sovereignty over Spratly and Paracels islands
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  16/07/2020 

Vietnam has a full legal foundation and historical evidence to back up its sovereignty claims over the Truong Sa (Spratly) and Hoang Sa (Paracel) islands and calls for all countries to respect international law.

VN Foreign Ministry warns over scam repatriation flights
VN Foreign Ministry warns over scam repatriation flights
POLITICSicon  17/07/2020 

The foreign ministry has urged overseas Vietnamese wishing to go home to be cautious and only rely on official channels to get tickets for repatriation flights.

Japanese governor honoured with Vietnam’s Friendship Medal
Japanese governor honoured with Vietnam’s Friendship Medal
POLITICSicon  17/07/2020 

Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Vu Hong Nam, empowered by the State President, presented the Friendship Medal to Seiji Hagiwara, Governor of Mimasaka city in Japan’s Okayama prefecture, 

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN