A Canadian national will be tried in China on drug charges later this week.
A news portal run by the northeastern Chinese province of Liaoning announced Wednesday that a man identified as Robert Lloyd Schellenberg will face charges of drug smuggling in a courtroom in Dalian on Saturday. The statement said Schellenberg was appealing an earlier ruling in which he was found to have smuggled “an enormous amount of drugs” into China.
The hearing comes as Beijing and Ottawa are engaged in a diplomatic dispute over China’s detention of two Canadian nationals, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and business consultant Michael Spavor.
The two men were detained earlier this month after Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer for Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies, was arrested in Vancouver on December 1.
U.S. officials say Meng — the daughter of Huawei’s founder — lied to banks about Huawei’s control of a Hong Kong-based company that allegedly sold U.S. goods to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions against Tehran.
Meng is free on bail while she awaits a hearing on extradition to the United States. Beijing has angrily demanded that Canada free Meng from all charges or face “grave consequences.”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry says Kovrig and Spavor are being investigated on suspicion of endangering China’s national security.
Source: VOA news