Michael Kovrig Wiki – Michael Kovrig Biography
Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are two Canadian nationals. They have been released from Chinese detention and are flying home to Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced.
Both are detained in China on spying charges, have been released from prison, and flown out of the country, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday, hours after a top executive of Chinese communications giant Huawei Technologies resolved criminal charges against her in a deal with the U.S. Justice Department.
He is 49 years old.
Two Canadian Arrested In China
Mr Kovrig is a former diplomat employed by International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank.
Mr Spavor is a founding member of an organization that facilitates international business and cultural ties with North Korea.
The pair were arrested on spying charges, and in August this year, a Chinese court sentenced Mr Spavor to 11 years in prison for espionage. There had been no decision in Mr Kovrig’s case.
Critics have accused China of detaining them in retaliation for the arrest of Ms Meng, to use as political bargaining chips. Beijing has always denied this.
In a statement, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the men had suffered “more than two-and-a-half years of arbitrary detention.”
Earlier on Friday, a Canadian judge ordered the release of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, after she reached a deal with US prosecutors over fraud charges against her.
“Over the past three years, my life has been turned upside down,” she told reporters outside the Vancouver courthouse.
“Every cloud has a silver lining,” she continued. “I will never forget all the good wishes I received from people around the world.”
Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig are returning to Canada nearly three years after being arrested in China, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Friday evening.
“These two men have gone through an unbelievably difficult ordeal,” Trudeau said in Ottawa. “For the past 1,000 days, they have shown strength, perseverance, resilience, and grace.”
Spavor and Kovrig boarded their flight about 7:30 p.m. ET, Trudeau said. They are being accompanied by Dominic Barton, Canada’s ambassador to China.
The ‘two Michaels’ were detained in what is widely considered a retaliatory action after the Chinese tech executive Meng Wangzhou was arrested in Vancouver on Dec. 1, 2018, at the request of the U.S. government.