The Latest: Canada updates travel advisory to Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses the media in Ottawa, Ontario on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. A Chinese court sentenced Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, a Canadian man to death Monday in a sudden retrial in a drug smuggling case. Trudeau said he is extremely concerned that China chose to "arbitrarily" apply the death penalty to a Canadian citizen. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

BEIJING — The latest on a death sentence imposed by a Chinese court on a Canadian citizen (all times local):

8:10 a.m.

Canada has updated its travel advisory for China to warn Canadians of "the risk of arbitrary enforcement of local laws."

The move comes after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed extreme concern over a court in China imposing the death penalty on a Canadian.

A Chinese court announced Monday that it had given Robert Lloyd Schellenberg of Canada the death penalty on drug charges.

The Chinese press began publicizing Schellenberg's case after Canada detained the chief financial officer of the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei on Dec. 1 at the request of the United States. The U.S. wants Meng Wanzhou extradited to face charges that she committed fraud by misleading banks about the company's business dealings in Iran.

Since then, China has arrested two Canadians in apparent retaliation for Meng's arrest. It detained former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor on suspicion of endangering China's national security. Canada has called the arrests arbitrary and demanded the men's immediate release.

___

11 p.m.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is extremely concerned that China has chosen to "arbitrarily" apply the death penalty against a Canadian.

The comments are Trudeau's strongest yet against China. The prime minister says he is "extremely concerned as should all countries around the world" that China is choosing to act arbitrarily with its justice system and with its choice not to respect longstanding practices regarding diplomatic immunity.

A Chinese court announced Monday that it had given Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg the death penalty on drug charges. The Chinese press began publicizing Schellenberg's case in December after Canada detained Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, on Dec. 1 at the request of the United States.

Since then, China has arrested two Canadians in apparent retaliation for Meng's arrest. It arrested both Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat, and Michael Spavor, a businessman, on suspicion of endangering national security.

A former Canadian ambassador to China, Guy Saint-Jacques, believes the Chinese likely interrogated Kovrig about his time as a diplomat in China and that would break the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations. He says there is a notion of residual diplomatic immunity that means a country is not allowed to question someone on the work they did when they were a diplomat.

___

9:45 p.m.

A Chinese court sentenced a Canadian man to death Monday in a sudden retrial in a drug smuggling case that is likely to escalate tensions between the countries over the arrest of a top Chinese technology executive.

The court in northeastern Liaoning province announced that it had given Robert Lloyd Schellenberg the death penalty after rejecting his plea of innocence and convicting him of being an accessory to drug smuggling. It gave no indication that the penalty could be commuted, but Schellenberg's fate is likely to be drawn into diplomatic negotiations over China's demand for the top executive's release.

Schellenberg was detained more than four years ago and initially sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2016. But suddenly last month, an appeals court agreed with prosecutors who said the sentence was too lenient, and scheduled Monday's retrial with just four days' notice.

The Chinese press began publicizing Schellenberg's case in December after Canada detained Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, on Dec. 1 at the request of the United States.

Since then, China has arrested two Canadians in apparent retaliation for Meng's arrest.

People also read these

China's trading partners alarmed by food import...

Mar 20, 2017

China's trading partners are trying to persuade Beijing to scale back plans to require intensive...

Lewis Hamilton coasts to fifth title at Chinese...

Apr 9, 2017

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton steered clear of a chaotic start to the Chinese Grand Prix and...

Study: China struggles to kick world-leading...

May 31, 2017

A decade-long study has found that most smokers in China, the world's largest consumer of tobacco,...

Foreign doctors deem ill Chinese Nobel laureate...

Jul 9, 2017

Two foreign specialists who visited Liu Xiaobo say the cancer-stricken Nobel Peace Prize laureate...

The Latest: US wants Liu to be able to choose...

Jul 13, 2017

U.S. officials want Chinese authorities to allow Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo and his...

Sign up now!

Advertisement