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Saint-Jacques said that the recent loss in Canadian courts was probably the catalyst for the criminal charges against Kovrig and Spavor.
“The Chinese must come to the conclusion that the extraction process will drag on for years and they decided to raise the bar by launching the trial,” said Saint-Jacques.
Robert Malley, president of the International Crisis Group, the organization’s conflict resolution Kovrig works, said the charges against him were “completely baseless” and “baseless.”
He said Kovrig was “open and transparent” in his work, and Chinese officials have provided no evidence to suggest otherwise.
“It’s very disappointing, but it’s totally surprising,” Malley said. “From the start, it was a case policy, not a legal one.”