Canadian sentenced to death in China in drug smuggling case

Canada issues China travel alert as tensions escalate

Monday's death sentence for Canadian Robert Schellenberg for smuggling 222 kg of methamphetamines has become the latest strain on ties. The Chinese media began republicizing Schellenberg's case after Meng's detention.

This is not the Canadian's first sentencing.

Schellenberg was detained in China in 2014 and sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2016 for drug peddling in China. He was to be deported after his sentence was complete.

In this image taken from a video footage run by China's CCTV, Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg attends his retrial at the Dalian Intermediate People's Court in Dalian, northeastern China's Liaoning province on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.

Schellenberg's family said in a statement after the ruling that they were asking all Canadians to "stand with us and pray for the safe return of our loved one".

The court said it found that Schellenberg was involved in an worldwide drug-smuggling operation and was recruited to help smuggle more than 220 kilograms (485 pounds) of methamphetamine from a warehouse in the Chinese city of Dalian to Australia.

Relations between Beijing and Ottawa are at crisis point after a Canadian man was sentenced to death by a Chinese court, a former Canadian ambassador to China told CNN.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also courted the leaders of Argentina and New Zealand in separate telephone calls on Monday.

Schellenberg's defense lawyer, Zhang Dongshuo, said his client plans to appeal the verdict. She called on the Canadian government to release Meng.

"It is of extreme concern to us as a government, as it should be to all our worldwide friends and allies, that China has chosen to begin to arbitrarily apply [the] death penalty.as in this case", Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa.

In a terse statement, the court announced that Schellenberg was "sentenced to death" and that all of his property would be confiscated.

Canadian sentenced to DEATH in China after being found guilty of drug smuggling
China sentences Canadian man to death in drug case linked to Huawei row

'Whatever Canada does, it is the rule of law, but whatever China does is not.

"Convince the court to make it faster, really fast or they can make it slower", said Sida Liu, a University of Toronto sociology professor who is an expert on China's legal system. One said he discussed the "arbitrary detention of two Canadians in China" and "China's application of the death penalty to a Canadian citizen" with Macri. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

China issued an advisory to its citizens Tuesday, urging them to "fully assess the risks of travel" to Canada after a Chinese executive was arrested in the North American country.

She repeated threats of "serious consequences" for Canada if Ms. Meng is not released.

China is not putting pressure on Canada by sentencing a Canadian to death for drug smuggling, and any suggestion it was doing so showed "rude contempt" of China's law, its state media said.

The row was further aggravated when two Canadian citizens - Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor - were arrested in China, suspected of activities that Beijing said put the country's national security at risk.

Some employees at the company were not allowed to take laptops on such trips and were ordered to delete all work-related data and information from their personal phones before traveling, the person said.

The episode was terribly damaging to relations between the United Kingdom and China, said Ben Rowswell, a former diplomat and current president of the Canadian International Council, a non-partisan think-tank.

China also suddenly began working hard to push Schellenberg's case to global prominence, taking the highly unusual step of inviting foreign journalists into the court, the BBC's John Sudworth in Beijing reports. "But I have never seen them doing as they said".

Clarke said: "My prediction is that the Supreme People's Court will sit on the review decision for as long as Meng's fate remains undetermined".

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