BEIJING: A Chinese language court docket on Monday sentenced a Canadian nationwide Robert Lloyd Schellenberg to loss of life for his alleged involvement in smuggling medicine amid growing tensions between Canada and China over the latest arrest of Huawei govt Meng Wanzhou.
Schellenberg, a Canadian drug smuggler, was sentenced to loss of life on the Dalian Intermediate Individuals’s Courtroom in northeast China’s Liaoning Province, state-run Xinhua information company reported on Monday evening.
All his private belongings will even be confiscated, in line with the court docket.
Earlier within the day Schellenberg advised the court docket that he had been framed when prosecutors pushed for a harsher sentence in a case which might additional exacerbate tensions between the US, Canada and China.
In his defence at his retrial, Schellenberg, a 36-year-old former oil trade worker, stated he was a vacationer framed by criminals, rejecting allegations he had smuggled greater than 200 kgs of methamphetamine in China, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Publish reported.
However prosecutors stated that they had proof that “extremely suggests Schellenberg was concerned in organised worldwide drug crime,” it reported quoting Chinese language state-run broadcaster CGTN.
Whereas Schellenberg was initially detained in Liaoning province in 2015, his case assumed significance within the backdrop of elevated tensions between Canada and China over Huawei CFO Meng’s arrest.
Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, is at present on bail in Canada after her arrest over alleged violation of US sanctions on Iran. If discovered responsible she might be jailed for as much as 30 years.
Following her arrest, China additionally detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig.
Schellenberg was first tried for drug smuggling within the Dalian court docket in March 2016 but it surely was not till greater than two years later that the court docket handed down a verdict, convicting and jailing him for 15 years in November 2018, the Publish report stated. He was additionally fined 150,000 yuan.
He appealed towards the sentence to the Liaoning Excessive Individuals’s Courtroom, the place prosecutors argued the sentence was too lenient. The court docket heard the enchantment on December 29 and ordered a retrial within the decrease court docket.
Schellenberg advised the court docket on Monday that he got here to China after travelling by Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
He stated a buddy beneficial a person named Xu Qing as a translator. “It is a case about Xu Qing. He’s a world drug smuggler and a liar,” The Publish quoted Schellenberg telling the court docket. However Xu was offered as a witness by prosecutors.
Two Chinese language males have been additionally concerned within the case – one was sentenced to life in jail, whereas the opposite was given a suspended loss of life sentence.