DANDONG, China: A Chinese court has sentenced Canadian Michael Spavor to 11 years in prison for espionage in a Huawei-related case.
Spavor was arrested in 2018 after his government arrested an executive from the Chinese tech giant.
Wednesday’s verdict is the latest indication of how Beijing is stepping up pressure on Canada ahead of a court ruling on whether to hand over executive Meng Wanzhou to face US criminal charges.
Spavor and another Canadian were held in China in what critics called a “hostage policy” after the executive’s arrest in 2018 in connection with possible trade sanctions violations against Iran.
Another Chinese court on Tuesday dismissed the appeal of a third Canadian whose prison sentence in a drug case was sharply increased to death following the executive arrest.
Canadian Ambassador Dominic Barton was present at the hearing in the town of Dandong, about 210 miles (340 kilometers) east of Beijing, on the North Korean border. No information has been given on the date of the trial of former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig, who was also arrested in December 2018 and charged with espionage.
Meng, Chief Financial Officer of Huawei Technologies Ltd. and daughter of the company’s founder, was arrested on December 1, 2018 in Vancouver for lying to the Hong Kong branch of British bank HSBC about possible transactions with Iran in violation. trade sanctions.
The Chinese government denounced the arrest as part of US efforts to hamper its technological development and demanded Meng’s immediate release.