Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are on their way back to Canada, the country’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a news conference on the evening of Sept. 24.

Trudeau said the two men, who have been imprisoned in China since December 2018, boarded a plane with Canada’s ambassador Dominic Barton enroute to Canada around 7:30 p.m. Ottawa time.

Epoch Times Photo
Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou leaves her Vancouver home to attend a court hearing on Sept. 24, 2021. (Don MacKinnon/AFP via Getty Images)

Trudeau made the announcement hours after the extradition case against Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was dropped and she was allowed to leave Canada.

She reportedly left on a flight to China the same evening.

Earlier in the day, Meng appeared before a U.S. federal court, where she reached a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Justice Department.

She later appeared before a Canadian court, where her bail conditions were lifted and she was free to leave the country.

Kovrig and Spavor were detained in China shortly after Meng’s arrest in Vancouver on Dec. 1, 2018, on a U.S. extradition request.

She was charged with bank fraud for allegedly lying to HSBC about Huawei’s business dealings with Iran, leading HSBC to violate U.S. sanctions on Iran.

The Beijing regime, which warned Canada of dire consequences if Meng was not released, had charged Kovrig and Spavor with espionage.

Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg
Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg attends his retrial at the Dalian Intermediate People’s Court in Dalian, northeastern China’s Liaoning province on Jan. 14, 2019. (CCTV via AP)

The two were initially held in solitary confinement, with the lights kept on in their cells day and night. This can lead to sleep deprivation, which is recognized as a torture method by human rights organizations.

In August, a Chinese court sentenced Spavor to 11 years in prison. Kovrig, whose trial was held in March, had yet to be sentenced.

“These two men have been through an unbelievably difficult situation, but it is inspiring and it is good news for all of us that they are on their way home to their families,” Trudeau said.

The leader of the opposition Conservative Party Erin O’Toole also welcomed the news.

“Our family shares the elation of millions of Canadians that our citizens are coming home. Thank you to all diplomats involved!” O’Toole said on Twitter.

Another Canadian, Robert Schellenberg, has been given a death sentence in China. Schellenberg was originally sentenced 15 years in prison on drug smuggling charges, but had his sentence was changed after Meng’s arrest.

No update was provided on Schellenberg’s case on Sept. 24.

Omid Ghoreishi
Reporter
Omid Ghoreishi is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.

September 25, 2021 1:06 am

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