China charges 2 Canadians with espionage in Huawei-linked case

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Chinese prosecutors charged two detained Canadians with espionage on Friday in an apparent bid to step up pressure on Canada to file a U.S. extradition request for a Huawei executive under house arrest in Vancouver.Michael Kovrig has been accused by Beijing on suspicion of spying for the account of the state secrets and intelligence. Michael Spavor, has been indicted in Dandong, a city near the North Korean border, on suspicion of spying for a foreign entity, and to provide illegally state secrets.

The charges were announced by China’s highest prosecutor’s office in short messages on social networks.

The two men were detained for 18 months. They were arrested shortly after the December 2018 arrest of Meng Wanzhou, a top leader in the Chinese tech giant Huawei. The daughter of the founder of Huawei, has been arrested at the request of U.S. authorities who want in on the charges of fraud related to trade with Iran.

China has repeatedly called for the release of Meng, and warned that Canada could face consequences, to assist the UNITED states in Meng’s case.

Fates related to Meng

China has denied any link between his cases and the excessive duration of the detention of the two Canadian men, but outside experts see as related. Meng was released on bail while his extradition produced in the court.

Meng is accused of lying to a executive of HSBC Hong Kong in August 2013 on Huawei’s relationship with Skycom, a company that prosecutors claim was violated U.S. economic sanctions against Iran.

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou leaves of B. C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, on May 27. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The UNITED states claims Skycom was a subsidiary of Huawei, and that HSBC and other banks are put at risk of prosecution and financial loss by continuing to provide funding for Huawei-based Meng of the insurance.

Meng, daughter of Huawei, the billionaire founder, has denied the allegations.

Meng was released on $ 10 million bail and has been living for the last year and a half, under a form of house arrest in one of two houses she owns on Vancouver’s west side.

In China, Kovrig and Spavor stay in isolation. Neither man has been seen by the consular agents in canada since the month of January.

Last month, a B. C. a judge has ruled, the UNITED states the extradition case against Meng could proceed to the next step.

WATCH | Meng Wanzhou leaves of B. C. Supreme Court after losing bid to stop his extradition:

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou lost a major court battle on May 27, 2020, B. C. Supreme Court judge has ruled the extradition proceedings against her should proceed. 0:57

The associate Chief justice Heather Holmes treaty of Meng’s defense, a major hit, in holding that the proceedings should continue, as the case met the bar of the so-called “double jeopardy” and that Meng is suspected of the offence is considered a crime had taken place in Canada.

Kovrig is a former Canadian diplomat who has worked as a senior adviser for the International Crisis Group. ICG has previously said that the accusations against Kovrig are ” vague and without merit. ”

Spavor, 44 years old, is one of the business men, a native of Calgary, who helped organize a trip to North Korea.

Denied access to lawyers

China has also been sentenced to another two Canadians to death and suspended imports of Canadian canola, while saying these movements have also been unrelated to Meng’s case.

The Relations between Canada and China are at their lowest point since the Chinese army’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests centered on Beijing, in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou leaves her home for the B. C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, on May 27. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

David Malley, Kovrig from the former boss of the International Crisis Group, said in an interview last December that his former employee was in jail, basing his assessment on what he has heard, of Canadian officials who visited him.

At the time, the two Canadians were allowed about a consular visit per month by the Canadian diplomats. But they have been denied access to lawyers and to all the others.

Bell and Telus shun Huawei

The tensions seem to be causing more damage to Huawei’s reputation in the Americas, with two of the three major telecommunications companies announcing earlier this month that they have decided not to use the Chinese tech giant for their next generation 5G wireless network.

Bell Canada has announced that the Swedish Ericsson will be her provider and Telus Corp announced later that it had also selected Ericsson and Nokia.

Huawei is the world’s largest supplier of network gear used by phone and internet companies, but has long been regarded as a front for espionage by China’s military and highly-skilled security services.

The UNITED states has urged Canada to exclude Huawei equipment for their next-generation wireless networks, saying Huawei is legally liable to pay for the Chinese regime. The united States and Australia have banned Huawei, citing concerns, it is an organ of the Chinese military intelligence — that the company denies.

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