Prominent Canadians are calling on Trudeau to put an end to the matter Meng Wanzhou to free 2 Michaels

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More than a dozen of eminent Canadians – who have all served in the former offices of the federal or on the world stage – to ask the Prime minister to secure the release of two Canadians detained in putting an end to the extradition of Meng Wanzhou to the United States.In a letter dated Tuesday and obtained by Global News, the group cites a recent legal opinion according to which the minister of Justice David Lametti has the power to terminate at any time in the extradition process of the executive of Huawei. They argued that not to do so would undermine Canada’s foreign policy towards China, which, according to the group, needs to be strengthened.

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“We believe that the Two Michaels will remain in their prison cells chinese until Meng is free to return to China,” says the letter sent to Justin Trudeau. “This means that unless the minister acts now, the Two Michaels are at risk for a containment undefined.

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“We argue that the time has come for the minister to do exactly that: put an end to the extradition procedure of Meng and to bring the Two Michaels in the house. “

The president of the Treasury Board stated that the government does not intervene in the case of Meng Wanzhou “to defend the reputation of judicial independence in Canada”

Among the 19 signatories of the letter include the former federal minister of Justice, Allan Rock; the former ministers of foreign Affairs, Lloyd Axworthy, Lawrence Cannon and André Oullet; the former NDP leader, Ed Broadbent; and Robert Fowler, the foreign policy adviser to former prime ministers Pierre Trudeau, John Turner and Brian Mulroney.

The legal opinion cited by the group on the power of the government to release Meng has been written by Brian Greenspan, a Toronto lawyer well versed in extradition procedures. It has been researched, among others, by Rock, and the wife of one of the two Michaels.

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In the legal notice – dated may 22, 2020 and addressed to Lametti – Greenspan said that the minister of Justice may legally intervene in the case before it reaches his desk, saying that “discretion” is “explicitly codified” in the extradition act.

“The opinion of Greenspan also clearly indicates that sound (closure of the procedure of extradition) would not put in danger the independence of the judiciary and would be entirely consistent with the rule of law,” wrote the group – an opinion contrary to the arguments advanced by Trudeau and Lametti against any intervention.

Trudeau refuses to exchange prisoners against the two Michaels

Meng fight against extradition to the United States, where the american authorities had accused her, she, and her business, of multiple counts related to allegations of circumvention of u.s. sanctions against Iran and theft of company secrets. She was arrested in Vancouver in December 2018 at the request of the U.s. and is held in house arrest in the city since.

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Only a few days after the arrest of Meng, Kovrig and Spavor have been arrested in China for what the country said to be “suspicion” of theft of State secrets. The two men were not formally charged with espionage last week, paving the way for a formal trial with a high probability of conviction and a sentence of life in prison maximum.

The two are held in detention centres with lighting 24 hours on 24, and denied visits consular. The group said it is also concerned that Kovrig and Spavor do run the risk of getting COVID-19 during their confinement.

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China has denied on several occasions that the detention of Kovrig and Spavor were in retaliation to the arrest of Meng, an argument which was recently rejected by Trudeau and other members of his cabinet.

The hearings for the extradition of Meng are underway in British Columbia, and the group says a final decision as to whether it is sent to the United States to face his charges might not happen until 2024. After that, Meng could face a new “extended period” of court proceedings, reads the letter.

In Canada, once the federal ministry of Justice said that a case for extradition could be initiated, an extradition hearing is held and a judge decides if Canada is to respond to the request for the extradition of a country.

After this, the minister of Justice asks, finally, whether the government will make the person in question.

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China has stopped Kovrig and Spavor in a “political decision” on the arrest of Meng, according to Trudeau

The group says he understands the “difficult position” in which the extradition request of the United States has placed Canada, but argues that putting an end to the case of Meng is worth upsetting the relations between the two countries in order to “untie the hands of Canada” and to “redefine its strategic approach to China” . ”

“Under normal circumstances, the safest choice would be to stay close to our ally, our friend and our main trading partner,” says the letter. “But these are not ‘normal’ times, and this is not a normal case. ”

The release of Meng and the return of Kovrig and Spavor in Canada would also enable Ottawa to consolidate its position on Hong Kong, which is facing a new law on the security of Beijing is considered to infringe on the democracy of the city – and the plans of Huawei to introduce a network 5G at Canada.

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The group concluded that, while the actions of China have been ” disgusting “, it could decide to hold more Canadians in the future if Canada continues to resist the pressure from Beijing.

This letter is the final message is contradictory that the Trudeau government has received on how it should proceed with the following charges against Kovrig and Spavor, and the ongoing demands of China to release Meng.

China asserts that the business of espionage against Canadians are not related to the detention of the chief financial officer of Huawei

A group of senators called on the Prime minister to impose sanctions on chinese officials to the arrests of the couple, as well as for the treatment by China in its muslim minority uyghur and its increasing restrictions on freedoms in Hong Kong.

The 12 senators are for the most conservative, but some have been appointed on the advice of the prime ministers of liberals, including Trudeau.

But the senator Yuen Pau Woo, head of the group of senators independent, urges the government to follow the advice set out in the letter of the previous group.

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The representative of the government in the Senate, senator Marc Gold, has reiterated the government’s assertion that “the minister of Justice has no direct role to play only after the judicial procedure at the final stage of the extradition process”.

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In a press release issued Wednesday, the office of Lametti argues that the extradition process “ensures that individual rights are protected and that the persons sought for extradition receive a regular procedure before the courts, while complying with our international treaty obligations.

“We know the laws and processes governing this important regime,” he said, adding that it would not be appropriate to comment further on a matter before the courts.

Global News contacted the Prime minister’s office for comment on the letter.

– With files from Beatrice Britneff, Global News, Bryan Mullan and the canadian Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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