Chinese courts to deliver verdicts for Canadian prisoners Robert Schellenberg and Michael Spavor

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Two Chinese courts are expected to deliver long-awaited verdicts in the cases of Canadians Robert Schellenberg and Michael Spavor, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

A verdict for Schellenberg, who has been sentenced to death over drug smuggling charges, is expected Monday at 9 p.m. ET, which is 9 a.m. Tuesday in China.

The source said a verdict for Spavor, who has been detained by China since late 2018 on suspicion of espionage, is expected to be announced later this week, possibly as soon as tomorrow.

Schellenberg was initially convicted in November 2018 and given a 15-year sentence for playing a central role in a methamphetamine smuggling operation. That sentence was overturned in favour of the death penalty following a retrial that concluded after a single day in January 2019.

Schellenberg appealed the death sentence, and today’s verdict may determine if it is upheld, reduced or if he will go to an additional retrial.

The verdict is expected to be delivered at a court in Shenyang, a major city in northeast China. Schellenberg will attend the ruling virtually from Dailan, a port city south of Shenyang where he is being held.

Robert Schellenberg attends his retrial at the Dalian Intermediate People’s Court in Dalian on Jan. 14, 2019. (CCTV/The Associated Press)

Spavor, meantime, was detained by Chinese authorities on Dec. 10, 2018 — nine days after Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies — was arrested while changing planes in Vancouver.

Another Canadian, Michael Kovrig, was arrested at the same time as Spavor. Kovrig is still awaiting a verdict following his trial, which ended in March.

Ottawa has repeatedly criticized the Chinese government over what it has called the “arbitrary detention” of Spavor and Kovrig and the secrecy surrounding their cases.

Officials from the Canadian Embassy in Beijing were denied access to Kovrig’s trial earlier this year.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden spoke about Spavor and Kovrig during a phone call last week, in which Biden condemned the detention and said the U.S. will support Canada’s efforts to secure their release.

Author: desi123 is an online news portal that aims to provide the latest trendy news for Asians living in Asia and around the World.

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