China sentences Canadian Michael Spavor to 11 years in prison on spying charges.

A Chinese court has sentenced Canadian Michael Spavor to 11 years in prison on spying charges in a case linked to Huawei.

Spavor was detained in 2018 after an executive of the Chinese tech giant was arrested in Canada.

The verdict on Wednesday is the latest indication of how Beijing is stepping up pressure on Canada ahead of a court ruling on whether to hand over the executive, Meng Wanzhou, to face US criminal charges.

Spavor and another Canadian were detained in China in what critics labelled “hostage politics” after the executive’s 2018 arrest in connection with possible violations of trade sanctions on Iran.

On Tuesday, another Chinese court rejected the appeal of a third Canadian whose prison term in a drug case was abruptly increased to death following Meng’s arrest.

Canadian ambassador Dominic Barton was present at the hearing in the city of Dandong, about 210 miles east of Beijing on the North Korean border.

No word has been given about a trial date for former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig, who was also detained in December 2018 and charged with spying.

Meng, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies and daughter of the company’s founder, was arrested December 1st, 2018, in Vancouver, on US charges of lying to the Hong Kong arm of the British bank HSBC about possible dealings with Iran in violation of trade sanctions.

China’s government has denounced the arrest as part of US efforts to hamper its technology development and demanded Meng’s immediate release. – AP

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