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Canadian officials denied permission to attend Michael Kovrig trial in China – National




Canadian officials will not be allowed to attend the trial of Michael Kovrig, who has been detained on espionage charges in China for more than two years.

In an email statement to Global News on Sunday, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) confirmed that Canadian officials will not attend the trial scheduled to begin Monday.

Click to play video: 'Trudeau refuses to trade Meng for Spavor, Kovrig'

Trudeau refuses to trade Meng for Spavor, Kovrig

Trudeau refuses to trade Meng for Spavor, Kovrig

“Under the terms of our bilateral consular agreement, China is obliged to provide access to Canadian consular officers to the trials of Canadian citizens,” the statement read.

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Global Affairs Canada said the agency remains “deeply concerned by the lack of transparency about these procedures”.

“Canada is grateful to all those who have joined in expressing concern about China’s actions,” the GAC said.

Click to play video: 'Two Michaels face fierce expectations for Chinese decision: ex-Canadian banned'

Two Michaels face a fierce anticipation of the Chinese decision: the former Canadian detained

Two Michaels face a fierce anticipation of the Chinese decision: the former Canadian detained

In an earlier interview with Global News, Kovrig’s wife, Vina Nadjibulla, said she would not travel to China for trial either because of the COVID-19 pandemic or because it would not be an open trial.

“If anything, it underscores the urgency of the matter and that we must do everything possible to bring them home,” she said.

“We are running out of time. The process in China is moving forward and this is very, very urgent at this stage. ”

Read more:

Rehearsals for Canadians Kovrig, Spavor will begin in China this week

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Kovrig and another Canadian, Michael Spavor, were arrested in China in 2018 on espionage charges, shortly after Huawei CEO Meng Wanzhou was arrested by authorities in British Columbia on an extradition charge from the United States. The actions taken against the two Michaels are widely seen as revenge.

Both Huawei and Meng are facing dozens of charges related to corporate espionage allegations and breach of sanctions in Iran.

Meng is currently living in Vancouver while her BC court hearing continues.

Canadian officials and the country’s closest allies have denounced the allegations against Kovrig and Spavor, calling them “arbitrary”.

Spavor’s trial last week ended without a verdict. It lasted only two hours and Canadian officials were barred from attending.

Click to play video: 'Trudeau condemns detention, lack of transparency in Micheal Spavor trial'

Trudeau condemns detention, lack of transparency in Micheal Spavor’s trial

Trudeau condemns detention, lack of transparency in Micheal Spavor’s trial

The federal government has repeatedly called on China to release the men.

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Speaking at a news conference Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the detention of the two men was “completely unacceptable”.

“As there is a lack of transparency about these court proceedings, our top priority remains ensuring their release (and) we will continue to work tirelessly to bring them home as soon as possible,” he said. ai.

Trudeau said the government will continue to be in “close contact” with the two men ‘s families “during this difficult time”.

Read more:

Two Michaels face ‘torturous’ expectations for Chinese decision, says former Canadian detainee

The federal government has also sought help from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan met face-to-face with top Chinese diplomats for the first time in Alaska on Thursday.

US President Joe Biden has promised to help Canada secure the release of Kovrig and Spavor.

Human beings are not spare chips, Biden told reporters on February 23rd. We would work together until we get their safe return. Canada and the United States will stand together against the abuse of universal rights and democratic freedom.

However, neither Biden nor his administration has revealed any details of what kind of assistance the US will provide.

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Prior to Kovrig’s ban, he served as a diplomat in China until 2016 and worked for the International Crisis Group, a non-governmental agency. Spavor is a Canadian businessman and director of the Paektu Cultural Exchange, an organization that promotes North Korean tourism and investment.

– With files from Canadian Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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