Trials of detained Canadians in China to begin

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The trials of two Canadian citizens, who have been detained in China for more than a year on espionage charges, will begin in the coming days, according to a Minister here.

On Thursday, Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said that the trial of Michael Spavor will begin on Friday, while Michael Kovrig will appear in court on March 22, reports dpa news agency.

“The arbitrary detention of Kovrig and Spavor is a top priority for the government of Canada and we continue to work tirelessly to secure their immediate release.

“We believe these detentions are arbitrary, and remain deeply troubled by the lack of transparency surrounding these proceedings,” Garneau said.

Kovrig, a former diplomat, and Spavor were arrested in China on December 10, 2018.

The two men had been detained just days after the arrest in Canada of Meng Wanzhou, the Chief Financial Officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, at Washington’s request.

The US government accuses her of bank fraud in connection with the circumvention of sanctions against Iran.

Meng is currently under house arrest in Canada.

If she is extradited to the US and convicted there, she could face a long prison sentence.