Canadian national Michael Spavor sentenced to 11 years for espionage, ordered to be deported from China
Published: Aug 11, 2021 11:02 AM
File photo: Michael Spavor

File photo: Michael Spavor 

Canadian citizen Michael Spavor was sentenced to 11 years in prison on Wednesday after being convicted of spying on China’s national secrets. He was ordered to be deported from China.  

A court in Dandong, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, announced the verdict on Wednesday. Spavor was also ordered to have his personal property of 50,000 yuan ($7,715) confiscated. 

The case was heard in a closed-door court on March 19 as it concerned national secrets and the verdict was said to be announced at a chosen time in accordance with the law.

A court in Beijing opened the trial of a former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig over espionage charges on March 22.  

Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were prosecuted by the Prosecutor General's Office in China for suspected crimes undermining China's national security in June 2020. 

Kovrig was accused of using an ordinary passport and business visa to enter China to steal sensitive information and intelligence through contacts in China since 2017, while Spavor was accused of being a key source of intelligence for Kovrig.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokespersons and China's judicial authorities have frequently released information concerning both cases. 

On Tuesday, Canadian drug smuggler Robert Lloyd Schellenberg’s death penalty was upheld by the High People's Court of Liaoning Province in a second trial. The case has won broad support from the Chinese public, as many detest drug trafficking and believe that having mercy with drug dealers is equal to infringing the rights of millions of Chinese.

Chinese experts said the death penalty has been widely applied in the world based on international laws and Canada should respect China’s laws and drop the illusion that the drug smuggler would be granted some mercy due to his nationality.

Canada claims to be a country under the rule of law and advocates for the so-called "judicial independence.” However, some Canadian politicians and media have repeatedly attacked China's judicial system, making wild comments on China's handling of cases involving Canadian citizens in accordance with the law. This is extremely absurd and hypocritical, the Chinese Embassy in Canada said in a statement in response to Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marc Garneau’s statement. The minister condemned the sentence and said the punishment is cruel and inhumane. 

Global Times