Michael Spavor Wiki – Michael Spavor Biography
Michael Spavor is a Canadian businessman sentenced by a Chinese court to 11 years in prison for espionage, more than two years after he was first detained.
Spavor, a Beijing-based businessman who regularly travelled to North Korea, was sentenced after being found guilty of spying and illegally providing state secrets to foreign countries. The Dandong Intermediate People’s Court said in a statement Wednesday.
His age is unclear.
Charges on Michael Spavor
Spavor was detained in December 2018 alongside Canadian Michael Kovrig on espionage charges. The two men were detained following the arrest in Vancouver of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese tech giant Huawei, over allegations the company violated United States sanctions on Iran.
Meng, whose extradition hearing is now in its final stages, has been held under house arrest in Vancouver since 2018.
Sentenced For 11 Years
A court in China has convicted a Canadian business person of espionage and sentenced him to 11 years in prison.
The verdict will test a strained relationship between the Canadian and Chinese governments.
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It comes as an extradition battle involving Meng Wanzhou, a senior executive at Chinese tech giant Huawei, in Canada.
Critics have accused China of treating both Spavor and Kovrig as political bargaining chips, held as part of what is known as “hostage diplomacy.”
In a statement published on Wednesday, the Dandong court said: “For the crime of spying and illegal provision of state secrets abroad [Spavor] has been sentenced to 11 years in jail, confiscation of 50,000 yuan ($7715: £5578) worth of personal property and deportation.”
The statement did not explicitly state when the deportation would occur, but China typically deports convicted foreigners only after they have completed their prison sentence.
Canadian Ambassador Statement
Speaking from Dandong on Wednesday, Canadian Ambassador to China Dominic Barton said his government condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the sentence handed down to Spavor.
Barton said he had spoken to Spavor after the verdict was delivered, and the Canadian had asked him to deliver three messages.
“One, thank you for all your support, it means a lot to me. Two, I am in good spirits, and three, I want to get home,” Barton said, relaying Spavor’s remarks.
The ambassador said the legal process had “lacked both fairness and transparency,” and linked the sentencing of Spavor to the ongoing trial of Meng in Canada.
Speaking to Spavor’s deportation sentence, Barton said they had interpreted it as an 11-year jail term followed by deportation from China but added it could be “very important.”
“Is there a chance to get (him) home earlier? We’ve been considering that in terms of the appeal but that deportation phrase was noted,” he said.