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China charges two Canadians with alleged spying

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published 3 weeks ago - Duration: 01:04s

China charges two Canadians with alleged spying

Chinese prosecutors said on Friday that they have charged two detained Canadians for alleged espionage, in a case that has driven a diplomatic wedge between Ottawa and Beijing.

Adam Reed reports.

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China charges two Canadians with alleged spying

Two Canadians detained by Chinese authorities were charged on Friday (June 19) with espionage by prosecutors.

Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor were arrested in late 2018 on state security charges that have strained diplomatic relations between the two countries.

They were first arrested shortly after Canadian authorities arrested Huawei chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, in Vancouver on a U.S. warrant.

China’s calls for her release have gone unanswered, and subsequently has warned Canada of consequences for aiding the United States in Meng’s case.

While China maintains the detentions are not linked to Meng, former diplomats and experts have said they are being used to pressure Canada.

Charging the two Canadian’s represents the next step in judicial proceedings against Kovrig and Spavor and means a formal trial can now begin.

The charges against the pair include spying on sensitive national secrets.

Kovrig works for the International Crisis Group who had has previously said the accusations against him are "vague and unsubstantiated."

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