Canadian faces appeal hearing in China drugs case

Canadian faces appeal hearing in China drugs case

The high court in the northeastern province of Liaoning said on Wednesday a man it identified as Robert Lloyd Schellenberg would be tried on drugs smuggling charges in Dalian city on Saturday.

A Canadian charged with smuggling drugs will be in court for an appeal on Saturday, China's state media say.

Canadian officials have been following Schellenberg's case for "quite a while" and have been providing consular services, the source added.

Both were arrested earlier this month after Canadian authorities arrested Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Chinese tech giant Huawei at Vancouver Airport on December 1.

Citing privacy concerns, Walker said no further information was available.

Liaoning online news portal runsky.com said Schellenberg was found to have smuggled "an enormous amount of drugs" into China.

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

In Schellenberg's case, the paper reports that Chinese criminal law calls for minimum sentences of 15 years for drug trafficking, and that a British citizen was executed in 2009 for smuggling four kilograms of heroin. The country 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 4kg of heroin.

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China commonly takes extreme measures to keep the worldwide media out of its courts, sometimes using plainclothes officers to rough up those attempting to enter, other times physically removing seats from courtrooms - and filling remaining spaces with unknown people - to ensure there is no place for reporters to sit.

The Global Times has been instrumental in cranking up tensions over Meng's arrest.

Canada arrested Meng at the request of Washington, which is engaged in a trade war with Beijing.

The Canadians were acting at the request of the US, which wants her extradicted for what Washington says are violations of global sanctions against Iran through a "hidden Huawei subsidiary called Skycom".

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Canadians Michael Kovrig, right, and Michael Spavor were arrested for undermining Chinese "national security, ' while Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou was arrested 'illegally" in Canada for the U.S.

In a strongly worded statement last week, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called for the "immediate release" of Mr. Kovrig and Mr. Spavor.

Key allies including the United States, Britain and the European Union have also spoken in support of Canada and the detained Canadians.

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