On Monday, the criminal trial in China against former Canadian diplomat Michael Coffrig on charges of espionage concluded. According to Chinese state media, the verdict will follow another day. When it was not mentioned exactly.
Kovrig has been imprisoned in China for more than two years. He was arrested, along with fellow countryman Michael Spavor, in 2018, after Canadian police arrested Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of the Chinese tech giant Huawei. The United States had issued an arrest warrant for Meng.
Beijing maintains that the Canadians’ arrest has nothing to do with the arrest of Meng, who remains detained in Vancouver as long as she is still challenging a law on her extradition to the United States. A few days before the start of the Covrig trial, the United States expressed its concern about the case during a tense summit between the Americans and the Chinese in Alaska.
China’s state-run CCTV reported that Covrig and his lawyer will appear in court on Monday. As in the Spavor case, which was tried on Friday, the verdict will follow at a later time.
Canada is deeply concerned about the lack of access and transparency during the Spavor and Kovrig trials. In the Spavor Friday case, representatives of Western countries, including the Netherlands, were not allowed into the courtroom.
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