Trial of Canadian businessman in China ends without verdict

The trial for one of two Canadians who have been held in China for more than two years in apparent retaliation for Canada”s arrest of a senior Chinese telecom executive took place on Thursday in the northeast city of Dandong.

Michael Spavor, an entrepreneur, was arrested in December 2018 with Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat, days after Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The U.S. wants her extradited to face fraud charges related to her company’s dealings with Iran.

The two Canadians have been held ever since, while Meng has been released on bail.

They were charged in June 2020 with spying under China’s national security laws.

Canada said its consular officials were not given permission to attend the proceedings despite several requests.

In a statement posted on its website, the Intermediate People’s Court of Dandong in the northeastern province of Liaoning Province said it had held a closed-door hearing against Spavor on charges of spying and illegally sending state secrets abroad.

It said Spavor and his defense lawyers were present for the proceedings.

The court trial for Michael Kovrig will be on Monday in Beijing.

Prosecutors have not released details of the charges and national security cases are routinely held behind closed doors.

Meng’s case has infuriated China’s government, which has promoted Huawei as a global leader in mobile communications technology.

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