Chinese court expected to deliver verdict, sentence for Michael Spavor tonight: source

DM

A Chinese court is expected to deliver a verdict and sentencing decision later tonight in the case of Canadian Michael Spavor, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation. Spavor has been detained in China since late 2018, accused of espionage. The verdict is expected to come as early as 10 p.m. ET tonight — which is 10 a.m. Wednesday in China — at a court in Dandong, a coastal city near the border with North Korea where Spavor is being held. Ottawa has called repeatedly on the Chinese government to release Spavor and fellow Canadian Michael Kovrig, who were both arrested in what is widely seen as an act of retaliation nine days after the arrest of Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver. Meng, the chief financial officer of the Chinese telecom giant Huawei, is on trial in Vancouver where she faces possible extradition to the United States for charges linked to violation of sanctions. Ottawa maintains that Spavor, an entrepreneur, and Kovrig, a former diplomat, were arbitrarily detained and should be released. The source said the government is preparing for a worst case scenario, which would be a guilty verdict for Spavor.

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