Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat who worked for the International Crisis Group (ICG), is accused by Chinese authorities of “stealing sensitive and intelligence information through contacts in China since 2017,” while Spavor, a businessman with a focus on North Korea , is accused of providing information to Kovrig.
Spavor’s trial came as US and Chinese officials barged barbs at the opening of a diplomatic summit in Alaska, the first meeting of the countries’ top diplomats since President Joe Biden took office.
Both Washington and Ottawa have repeatedly called for the release of Kovrig and Spavor, calling their detention political and arbitrary.
“Michael Kovrig has been detained for two years now, he has been detained arbitrarily, and now we see that the judicial process itself is not transparent and that makes us very concerned,” he said, adding that access was denied because ” diesthi is a so-called national security case. ”
Nickel thanked other diplomats for their solidarity with Canada. He said there were around 28 representatives from 26 different countries in Beijing’s No. 2 Intermediate Court on Monday who “voted for the immediate release of Michael Kovrig.”
Reuters counted the USA, Great Britain, Germany, Australia, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic among the countries with diplomatic representation outside the court.
These diplomats and journalists were greeted by a large police presence. Repeated attempts by diplomats to enter the building before the start of the trial were turned down, according to local reporters.
Following the speedy trial of Spavor on Friday, the Dandong court said in a statement that it “will render its judgment at a later date, in accordance with the law.”
After Kovrig and Spavor were charged with espionage last year, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the “political” nature of their case, saying that their detention was a “decision by the Chinese government and we regret it”.
Chinese courts have a conviction rate of more than 99% and observers say the release of the two men could now be based on a diplomatic solution, possibly after a face-saving conviction and a serving sentence.