A Chinese court on Tuesday upheld a death sentence against Robert Schellenberg, a Canadian citizen convicted of drugs in China.
Schellenberg has been detained in China since 2014. He was originally sentenced to 15 years in prison in late 2018, but was returned to court shortly after Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada in 2019 and tried again for a day.
The court’s decision to uphold Schellenberg’s death sentence became a key point in Men’s case in Canada as she fought a surrender request from the United States for fraud related to violations of Iran’s sanctions.
The High Court in northeastern Liaoning heard Schellenberg’s appeal against the death penalty in May 2020, which was confirmed on Tuesday.
Canada’s ambassador to China, Dominic Barton, accused the decision by telephone with reporters after attending the hearing.
“It’s no coincidence that these are happening now while the incident is happening in Vancouver,” Burton told both the Schellenberg case and another Canadian, Michael Superber, who is currently detained on charges of espionage in China. Mentioned and said.
Canada’s Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said in a statement that he strongly condemned China’s decision to support the death sentence against Schellenberg.
“We have repeatedly expressed our firm opposition to this cruel and inhumane punishment to China. We will continue to work with the highest level Chinese authorities to pardon Mr. Schellenberg,” Garnaud said. He said.
“We oppose the death penalty in all cases and condemn the arbitrary nature of Mr. Schellenberg’s decision.”
China rejected the proposal that China’s Canadian case was related to Canada’s Meng case, but unless Meng was released, China warned of unspecified consequences.
The Spavor verdict will also be announced in the coming days. Spavor and Michael Kovrig of Canada were detained in China in December 2018 and formally charged with espionage in June 2020.
According to a document from the Beijing People’s Procuratorate, think-tank scholar and former diplomat Kobrig has been charged with “state secret and intelligence spies.” According to documents from the Dandong People’s Reserve, businessman Superber has been charged with “spying state secrets and illegally providing them.”
The Kobrig trial took place in March. It is not clear when he will be sentenced.
China’s Global Times reported on Twitter that the Schellenberg case “believes that mercy on drug dealers is an infringement of Chinese rights,” so “enjoying widespread support from the Chinese people.” I received the decision.
Margaret McEig Johnston, a senior researcher at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, said: Parents Schellenberg’s case is “Hostage diplomacy.. “
“It’s very clear that this is being used as a means of returning Madame Men to China,” she said.
In addition to Schellenberg, Canadian citizens Fan Wei, Ye Jianhui, and Xu Weihong have also been sentenced to death in China for drugs in the last two years.
Reuters contributed to this report.