Canadian spy trial in China ends without verdict

Canadian spy trial in China ends without verdict
Michael Spavor (L) and Michael Kovrig have been held since December 2018. Source: AFP
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Daily US Times: The trial of a Canadian businessman Michael Spavor who was accused of espionage has ended in China with no verdict.

It is the latest development in what has turned into a diplomatic spat between Canada, China and the US.

Mr Spavor was arrested two years ago along with fellow Canadian and former diplomat Michael Kovrig.

The detentions of the two Canadians came days after Canada detained Meng Wanzhou, a senior executive at Chinese tech giant Huawei and the daughter of the founder of the company, on a US warrant.

Canada has accused Beijing of conducting “hostage diplomacy”. Beijing denies the cases are linked.

Mr Spavor’s trial, which was closely-watched trial and took place in the northern Chinese city of Dandong on Friday morning, appeared to have lasted just two hours.

In China, it is not unusual for some trials to take place swiftly.

According to a statement from the court, he appeared in court to face charges of “spying and illegal provision of state secrets abroad.” The statement also said it would set a later date for the verdict.

A group of foreign diplomats gathered outside the court as the trial took place. All of the diplomats were denied entry. Among them was Jim Nickel, the charge d’affaires of the Canadian embassy in China. Mr Nickel told reporters that it was a breach of international law to bar them from the trial.

He also said that Canadian diplomats were also refused access to Mr Spavor before his trial, and that they were “disappointed by the lack of transparency and the lack of access”.

The court statement said the hearing in Friday was closed to the public as the case involved state secrets.

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