Published: Tue, January 01, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Chinese Authorities Release Canadian National McIver From Detention

Chinese Authorities Release Canadian National McIver From Detention

A Canadian man convicted of drug trafficking in China faces the possibility of more serious charges after a court ordered a new trial amid tensions over Canada's arrest of a Chinese technology executive.

The court ordered that Robert Lloyd Schellenberg be retried in the city of Dalian, where he was originally tried and sentenced.

Schellenberg played an "important role" in drug smuggling and was potentially involved in worldwide organised drug trafficking activities, said the court, and passed his case back to the lower Dalian court for a retrial without specifying a date.

"Due to the provisions under the Privacy Act, no further information can be disclosed", he said.

Michael Kovrig, left, and Michael Spavor are the two Canadians detained by Chinese authorities following the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Canada.

On December 20th, China's foreign ministry announced that the woman was undergoing "administrative punishment" for working in the country illegally.

There has been speculation that Korvig and Spavor's detainment was done in retaliation by China over Canada's role in arresting Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, but the Canadian Government has not confirmed this.

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The department didn't say when McIver was released, or when she returned to Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has confirmed that McIver's case does not appear to be linked to that of the other two detainees.

They have each only been allowed to see Canadian diplomats once since being detained. She is the third Canadian to be apprehended by Beijing this month.

Meng was arrested at the request of United States prosecutors and faces extradition on charges of violating sanctions on Iran.

Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and prominent businessman Michael Spavor were also arrested in mid-December on suspicion of harming China's national security. The last foreigner to be tried for drug smuggling was British national Akmal Shaikh, who was caught in 2007 while smuggling over 4 kilograms of heroin into China.

"They are airing it in public as a showcase of their power and potential to put pressure on Canada", she said.

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