Three days after the trial of Michael Spavor, another Canadian, Michael Kovrig, sat on Monday in the dock for espionage in China. Both were arrested in December 2018 just after Meng Wanzhou, vice president of Huawei and daughter of its founder, was detained at the Vancouver airport by an extradition order from the United States. Although Beijing denies the link between the two cases, the Canadian government has denounced its “hostage diplomacy»And more than fifty countries signed a declaration in February against this type of arbitrary detentions for political reasons.
To show their solidarity with the two defendants, diplomats from 26 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain, have come to the court that is trying Kovrig. But they have not been able to access the room because, as happened on Friday, the court has prohibited it, claiming that it was behind closed doors because they were dealing with “secret matters.”
“We have repeatedly requested access to the oral hearing of Michael Kovrig but we have been denied“Criticized Canadian diplomat Jim Nickel at the doors of the Intermediate People’s Court No. 2 in Beijing, reports Reuters. “Michael Kovrig has been detained arbitrarily for two years and now we see that the legal process is not transparent, which worries us,” he denounced before the assembled journalists.
Representing the U.S. Embassy, William Klein He assured that “President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken have said that our country will treat the cases of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor as if they were American citizens.” Along with them, diplomats from other countries told reporters their nationalities to show their support for the two courts.
Detained and isolated
While Spavor did business with North Korea, and even brought the former NBA star to this country Dennis RodmanKovrig is a former diplomat who wrote reports for the International Crisis Group think-tank. His case has not only unleashed the biggest crisis in recent years between China and Canada, but has also awakened a wave of international solidarity and condemning what is seen as retaliation by Beijing for the arrest of Meng Wanzhou at the Vancouver airport. But, while Huawei’s ‘heiress’ is out on bail in one of her mansions in that city, ‘The Michaels’, as the two Canadians are known, have been isolated and with little access to their lawyers or families or consular staff. In fact, last year they spent nine months without communication with the outside due to the coronavirus and Kovrig himself was even surprised that there was a pandemic.
This lack of guarantees In addition, 99 percent of criminal cases that reach Chinese courts end in conviction. Charged with “spying and supplying state secrets abroad” last June, a year and a half after their arrest, few expect them to be acquitted. But the most optimistic are confident that, once convicted, some diplomatic solution will be reached to deport them to Canada.
Despite the voices in his country demanding an exchange for Meng Wanzhou, something that Trump himself suggested in his day, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has refused and condemned that this «arbitrary detention it is unacceptable, such as the lack of transparency around the legal procedure ”, reports France Presse.
For her part, the Chinese Foreign spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, defended herself by assuring that Canada has brought together a group of diplomats to “accuse with the finger“And” interfere with our judicial sovereignty. ” In the next few days the sentence will be known, which is expected to be a conviction.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism