Shortly after learning that Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou had been cleared to leave Canada following a deal with US officials, two Canadians arrested in China were also released.
Ottawa (AP) – Almost three years after their arrest in China, Canadian businessmen Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig have been freed and flown home.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced it on Saturday evening – just hours after learning that Meng Wanzhou, who has been stuck in Canada for years, will be able to return to his home country, China, thanks to a deal with the US authorities.
Spavor was convicted of espionage and obtaining state secrets and sentenced to 11 years in prison. Former diplomat Kovrig also had to respond in a Chinese court to allegations of espionage. In the end, however, there was no longer a verdict against him.
Since the two Canadians were taken into custody in Canada almost immediately after Meng’s arrest in December 2018, Beijing has been accused of being a return trainer and “hostage diplomacy.” Since then, the case weighs heavily on relations between the two countries.