China frees Canadians after Huawei boss released

China frees Canadians after Huawei boss released
Michael Kovrig (r) and Michael Spavor have been held since 2018. Source: AFP
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Daily US Times: Two Canadians have been released from Chinese jail and are flying home to Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has confirmed.

Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were accused of espionage in 2018, shortly after Canadian police arrested a top Huawei executive on a US warrant.

Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei founder Rene Zhengfei, left Canada earlier today after a deal with US prosecutors.

The detentions have sparked years of diplomatic tensions between Canada and China.

Critics accused China of detaining the Canadian nationals in retaliation for the arrest of Ms Meng, to use as political bargaining chips, an accusation China strongly denied.

The two Canadians had maintained their innocence throughout. Mr Trudeau said at a news conference that they had been through “an unbelievably difficult ordeal.”

The Canadian Prime Minister said: “It is good news for all of us that they are on their way home to their families. For the past 1,000 days, they have shown strength, perseverance, resilience and grace.”

Mr Trudeau said both men will arrive in Canada early on Saturday. They are being accompanied by Canada’s ambassador to China Dominic Barton.

Mr Kovrig is a former diplomat employed by a Brussels-based think tank named International Crisis Group.

Mr Spavor is a founding member of an organisation that facilitates international cultural and business ties with North Korea.

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