CANADA NEWS: Canada says 2 citizens detained in China have never been tried

Canada says 2 citizens detained in China have never been tried.

Asked by Canadians at a daily meeting on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said the two had been “arrested, charged and tried,” in what appeared to be a public outcry to be brought to court.

Canada said on Thursday it had also confirmed to China that two Canadians who had held two years in China in a case involving a Huawei official were not charged, contrary to a Foreign Ministry spokesman.

Former Canadian strategist Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor have been detained in China since December 10, 2018, a few days after Canada arrested Huawei chief executive Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of the founder of a Chinese communications company.

Asked by Canadians at a daily meeting on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said the two had been “arrested, charged and tried,” in what appeared to be a public outcry to be brought to court.

Hua did not provide details, and the Canadian News Department issued a statement later Thursday saying that Canadian diplomats in Beijing had spoken to the department, confirming that the men had not been tried.

Chinese officials have “confirmed that the confusion was caused by a misinterpretation of the process by a Chinese IMFA spokesman,” the statement said.

Chinese prosecutors announced earlier this year that Kovrig had been charged with conspiracy to spy on state secrets and intelligence, and Spavor for allegedly spying on a foreign company and illegally providing state secrets.

Neither China nor Canada have released certain details about their cases.

Canada has arrested Meng on a US request, demanding that he be extradited to face fraud charges.

Hua said his case and that of the Canadian people were “different in nature,” while Meng was “just a political incident.” Apart from that, China has been linking the fate of these Canadians with its demands for Meng’s immediate release.

Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne issued a statement on Wednesday stating the two-year detention, saying: “These Canadians are very important to our government, and we will continue to work tirelessly to secure their immediate release and represent them as government and Canadian people. ”

“I am impressed by the honesty and strength of these two men as they endured so much adversity that it could shake the faith of anyone in humanity,” Champagne said.

Meng’s arrest severely damaged Canadian relations with China, which sentenced two other Canadians to death and suspended canola imports from Canada.

Meng, Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer, lives in a luxury home in Vancouver while his repatriation case continues in British Columbia court. The United States has accused Huawei of using a Hong Kong-based shell company to defraud banks and do business with Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.

It is not known publicly where Kovrig and Spavor were detained or under what circumstances, although the Canadian ambassador to China testified to a House of Representatives committee this week that they were “strong.”

Canadian officials were denied all access to the two men from January to October due to coronavirus protection measures announced on the Chinese side. Site visits were banned and did not even include visual visits.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who described China’s approach as a force for good, spoke last month with US President-elect Joe Biden over the two men and said he expected Biden to be a good partner in persuading Beijing to release them.

The United States is celebrating its second year in prison on Thursday, demanding its immediate release.

The US ambassador to Canada, Katherine Brucker, in a statement said they were being held unfairly and unfairly.

“We are responding to calls from the Canadian government, the international community, and the families of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor for the two men to be released immediately,” Brucker said.

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