Chinese ambassador denies mistreatment of two detained Canadians

·1 min read

OTTAWA — China's ambassador to Canada says the media has "hyped up" stories about violations against the two Canadians detained in China.

Speaking at an event organized by the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations, Cong Peiwu says Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig are on trial for suspected crimes of secretly gathering state secrets and leaking them to foreign countries.

He says their trials are not open to the public because their charges are related to China's national security.

The two Michaels were detained in December 2018 in apparent retaliation for Canada's arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on an extradition request from the United States.

They have been in custody since, held on what the Canadian government and observers have described as bogus charges aimed at putting pressure on Canada to release Meng.

After more than two years years in detention, the first two separate hearings for them wrapped up last month with the verdict to be announced at an unspecified later date.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 13, 2021.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press