Two Canadians accused: China's hostage diplomacy

More than 18 months ago, in China, two Canadians were detained. It is only now that the Prosecutor's office has filed formal charges against you. The former Di

Two Canadians accused: China's hostage diplomacy

More than 18 months ago, in China, two Canadians were detained. It is only now that the Prosecutor's office has filed formal charges against you. The former Diplomat Michael Kovrig, an employee of the think-tank International Crisis Group, is accused of espionage. The entrepreneur Michael Spavor, who organized trips to North Korea is accused of espionage and disclosure of state secrets to the foreign. The judicial authorities announced on Friday.

Friederike Böge

Political correspondent for East Asia.

F. A. Z. Twitter

The case of the "two Michaels", such as it is called in Canada, has not only the relations between Ottawa and Beijing to a historic low point decline. It is also observed from other countries as an indicator for the course of Chinese foreign policy. In Beijing, the case of the two Canadians is generally discussed under the heading of "hostage diplomacy" and as an attempt of the Chinese security apparatus is seen almost time to compress the same in December 2018 in Canada detained Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou free.

The arrest of accused was due to an extradition request of the United States, the of the Manager Bank fraud in connection with a breach of Iran sanctions. Meng denies this. China regarded the proceedings as politically motivated. Since Meng is the daughter of the influential founder of Huawei, one of the most important companies in the country, has its release in China a high priority.

No access to lawyers

The charges against the two Canadians is the prospect that they could come in the next time, continue to fall. According to a report in the canadian newspaper "Globe and Mail" is the penalty for these charges to between five years and life in prison. In the past five months, canadian diplomats have tried in vain to get consular access to Kovrig and Spavor. Even a video circuit rejected the Chinese authorities with reference to the corona of crisis, although an agreement between the two countries, writes the right to one visit per month.

The two Canadians also have no access to lawyers and, in General, not even to their families. Kovrig was granted in may "for humanitarian reasons" is a call to his father, it will not go well. Letters and photos of their relatives may look at the two men only, but do not store. This rule applies for all the prisoners in their environment. In their cells at night, the light is not switched off.

In may had failed, the chief financial officer of Huawei before the Supreme court of the province of British Columbia with a request for the setting of the extradition proceedings. It was a question of whether the charges, which will be placed in the United States to be a burden, be in Canada, too, is a punishable offence. The court confirmed this. Apparently, Meng Wanzhou had expected it to be a success, your employees will be disseminated in advance of a photo that showed it with a thumbs-up in front of the court building. The Manager arrest for 18 months under house and allowed to stay in Vancouver in the two houses that she owns. A decision on extradition is not expected until at least 2021.

Updated Date: 19 June 2020, 11:19

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