Two Canadians, accused by China of espionage and imprisoned in that country, returned to their homeland. Businessman Michael Spavor and former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig were greeted at the airport by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. CTV footage shows the head of the Canadian government ordering hugs for Canadians who have been allowed to leave the country by China.
Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig were detained in China in December 2018, shortly after the arrest of Huawei Deputy CEO Meng Wanzhou in Canada.
Chinese authorities still maintain that the two cases are not related to each other. The Western world, led by Canada, accused China of “hostage diplomacy.”
At the initiative of Canada, a document was adopted this year condemning this practice. Poland signed it.
Three years in prison
Canadians spent nearly three years in a secret Chinese prison. All this time, they did not contact their loved ones, and their access to consular assistance was also limited. There were guards in their cells all the time.
In turn, Meng Wanzhou was under house arrest in one of the estates in Canada, owned by the family of the founder of Huawei, whose daughter is Meng.
Two Canadians in exchange for the deputy president of Huawei
The deputy head of the Huawei concern Meng Wanzhou, who was detained in December 2018 on the basis of an arrest warrant in the United States, left Canada.
On Friday, a Vancouver court, at the request of the American side, agreed to conditionally suspend the proceedings on her extradition. Meng Wanzhou flew from Vancouver Airport to Shenzhen on an Air China charter plane. Around the same time, the plane carrying two Canadians – businessman Michael Spavor and former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig – was leaving China’s airspace.