A Chinese court has upheld the death sentence for Canadian prisoner Robert Schellenberg who was arrested for drug smuggling in 2014. The decision has been sent to the Chinese Supreme Court for review — standard procedure before a death sentence can be carried out.
The ruling comes as fellow Canadian Michael Spavor awaits a verdict. He’s been in Chinese custody since 2018 on suspicion of espionage.
Both court proceedings come as lawyers for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou fight to keep her from being extradited from British Columbia to the U.S. where she faces charges for violating American economic sanctions.
Spavor was detained nine days after Meng, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies — was arrested while changing planes in Vancouver.
Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau condemned the ruling and called on China to grant Schellenberg clemency.
Canada’s ambassador to China, Dominic Barton, also called for China to grant clemency.
Schellenberg’s family, through a friend, released a written statement saying they remain hopeful that diplomatic efforts between Canada and China will bring about the “best possible outcome for Bob.”
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