Death sentence for Canadian in China 'of extreme concern': PM

Death sentence for Canadian in China 'of extreme concern': PM

Schellenberg, who was to have been deported after serving his original sentence, had lodged an appeal after being ordered in Dalian to 15 years in prison on November 20.

Robert Lloyd Schellenberg photographed in Dalian Intermediate People's Court, China. Then it planned to hide it in tires and tubing and ship it via container to Australia, according to the court.

The Canadian was said to have inspected the cargo, assessed the workload and decided on a shipping date.

Schellenberg, who was reportedly detained in northeast Liaoning province in 2014, is accused of playing an important role in drug smuggling and of potentially being involved in worldwide organised drug trafficking activities. I am not a drug user. He was sentenced in November to 15 years in prison on charges of smuggling drugs.

Schellenberg's lawyer, Zhang Dongshuo, said his client now has 10 days to appeal.

"The court will later announce more detailed information on the trial", Xinhua said.

Trudeau said the Chinese court's decision was "of extreme concern".

Canadian President Justin Trudeau condemned Schellenberg's sentence, saying he was extremely concerned that China had chosen to "arbitrarily" apply the death penalty to a Canadian citizen.

William Nee, a Hong Kong-based China researcher with Amnesty International, said it was horrified that Schellenberg had been sentenced to death, particularly as drug-related offences did not meet the threshold of the "most serious crimes" to which the death penalty must be restricted under international law. While he appealed the sentence, the effort backfired in December 2018, with the court ruling that his initial sentence was too lenient in light of the charges he'd been convicted of.

Further escalating the diplomatic rift between the two countries, a Chinese spokeswoman said earlier Monday that Michael Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat taken into custody in apparent retaliation for Meng's arrest, was not eligible for diplomatic immunity as Trudeau has maintained. U.S. prosecutors have accused her of fraudulent bank transactions related to business deals with Iran that violated United States sanctions. Since her arrest, multiple Canadian citizens have been detained in China.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denied that Schellenberg's trial and the arrests of Kovrig and Spavor have anything to do with Meng's arrest.

The tempo of Schellenberg's case has accelerated since Meng's arrest.

"I have recently heard a word repeatedly pronounced by some Canadians: bullying".

In the weeks following her seizure, Chinese authorities detained two Canadians living in China on suspicion of national security crimes. If someone slaps you on your left cheek, give him your right cheek, they told us. "I certainly never felt threatened at any time in those days", he said.

In 2009, China executed a Briton, Akmal Shaikh, on charges of smuggling heroin despite his supporters' protest that he was mentally ill.

Two other Chinese men have been involved in this case - one was sentenced to life imprisonment, another handed a suspended death sentence.

China remains the world's top executor, according to global monitors, though the country does not publish detailed statistics.

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