China Sentences Canadian Man To Death In Drug Case

Lester Mason
January 14, 2019

Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, a Canadian citizen arrested in China in 2014, was sentenced to death by the Dalian Intermediate People's Court over drug smuggling accusations, CBC reported, citing a statement by the court.

His case was then publicized by the Chinese press following the December 1 arrest of Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, on US charges related to doing business with Iran.

Chinese authorities also arrested two Canadians, Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat, and Michael Spavor, a businessman.

Schellenberg was again found guilty of taking part in an worldwide drug-smuggling ring, according to the Wall Street Journal.

When pressed on details, he frequently said he could not remember and to refer to a written statement for details, including when Schellenberg questioned him about 180,000 yuan he was purportedly given.

Schellenberg was detained in 2014 and initially sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2016 on charges of being an accessory to drug smuggling.

Amnesty China researcher William Nee.

On Friday, Donald Clarke, a specialist in Chinese law at George Washington University, said in a blog post that Schellenberg's case had several unusual features, including the delay in trial and sentencing, the rare decision for and extraordinary speed in scheduling a retrial, and invitations to global media to observe the case.

"It is obvious. that Schellenberg's fate will have little to do with his actual guilt or innocence", Clarke added.

Beijing has taken the unusual step of inviting selected foreign media to observe the retrial.

Robert Long and Ada Yu support Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou outside her bail hearing at British Columbia Superior Courts in Vancouver, British Columbia, on December 11, 2018.

Beijing has repeatedly denied any diplomatic pressure behind Schellenberg's case.

"If no laws have been broken, I hope that these people can stop recklessly suspecting others of politicising legal issues just because they have done so". China has executed foreign drug smugglers before: United Kingdom citizen Akmal Shaikh was put to death in 2009, despite protests from British authorities, for smuggling over four kilograms of heroin.

A Filipina drug trafficker was executed in 2013, according to the Philippine foreign department, ignoring Manila's request to spare her life.

He said a friend recommended a man named Xu Qing as a translator, and Schellenberg was swept up in what turned out to be an worldwide drug trafficking syndicate.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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