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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

China sentences Canadian man to death for drug smuggling amid Huawei row

The verdict comes in the backdrop of a diplomatic row between China and Canada after the Canadian police arrested Meng Wanzhou, a top official at the Chinese telecom giant Huawei, on a request from the US.

world Updated: Jan 14, 2019 22:44 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
In this image taken from a video footage run by China's CCTV, Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg attends his retrial at the Dalian Intermediate People's Court in Dalian, northeastern China's Liaoning province on January 14.
In this image taken from a video footage run by China's CCTV, Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg attends his retrial at the Dalian Intermediate People's Court in Dalian, northeastern China's Liaoning province on January 14.(AP Photo)
         

A Canadian man, serving a jail sentence for smuggling drugs, has been sentenced to death by a Chinese court on Monday amid ongoing diplomatic tension between the two countries.

The Dalian Intermediate People’s Court in northeast China ordered Robert Lloyd Schellenberg to be executed, setting aside an earlier verdict that found him guilty of smuggling 200 gm of methamphetamine and had put him behind bars for 15 years.

The earlier verdict was found to be lenient by the court, reports said Monday.

A Reuters report, quoting a court statement from its website said Schellenberg was told in court that he has the right to appeal to Liaoning High Court within 10 days on receiving the ruling.

The Canadian was involved in organised international drug crimes, the court said.

The verdict comes in the backdrop of a diplomatic row between China and Canada after the Canadian police arrested Meng Wanzhou, a top official at the Chinese telecom giant Huawei, on a request from the US.

She was granted bail in December.

Meng, 46, is the daughter of Huawei’s founder and her detention angered China and soured its relations with both Canada and the US.

Earlier in the day, the foreign ministry said that Canada’s criticism of China detaining two Canadian citizens is groundless, noting one of them had no “diplomatic immunity”.

“Chinese foreign ministry confirmed earlier that coercive measures have been taken against two Canadians suspected of jeopardising China’s national security,” a state media report said.

Noting that Chinese authorities handled the case according to law, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that no matter which point of view you take, the former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig does not enjoy diplomatic immunity stipulated in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

Hua said: “Kovrig currently is not a diplomat, and he came to China with an ordinary passport and business visa. The Chinese side took coercive measures against him because he was suspected of engaging in activities that endanger China’s national security”.

“I would like to suggest that Canada’s relevant people should first study and seriously research the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the International Law before they express their views, instead of being plausible and exposing themselves to ridicule,” said Hua.

First Published: Jan 14, 2019 22:44 IST