Chi­nese court or­ders new trial for Cana­dian

The Sun News (Sunday) - - News -

A Cana­dian con­victed of drug traf­fick­ing in China faces the pos­si­bil­ity of more se­ri­ous charges af­ter a court on Sat­ur­day or­dered a new trial amid ten­sions over Canada’s ar­rest of a Chi­nese tech­nol­ogy ex­ec­u­tive.

Robert Lloyd Schel­len­berg was tried in 2016 but his case has been pub­li­cized by the Chi­nese press af­ter the Dec. 1 ar­rest of the chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer of tech gi­ant Huawei on U.S. charges re­lated to trad­ing with Iran.

Since then, China has ar­rested two Cana­di­ans on charges of en­dan­ger­ing na­tional se­cu­rity in what ap­peared to be re­tal­i­a­tion. A Cana­dian teacher was de­tained but re­leased.

An ap­peals court agreed with prose­cu­tors who said Schel­len­berg was pun­ished too le­niently when he was sen­tenced to 15 years in prison on charges of be­ing an ac­ces­sory to drug smug­gling.

Ev­i­dence showed it was pos­si­ble he played an “im­por­tant role,” said the an­nounce­ment by the Higher Peo­ple’s Court of the north­east­ern prov­ince of Liaon­ing. It or­dered the court in the city of Dalian to try the case again.

Author­i­ties have re­leased no de­tails of the ac­cu­sa­tions against Schel­len­berg.

The Cana­dian govern­ment said ear­lier it was fol­low­ing the case but has re­leased no de­tails.

The max­i­mum penalty for drug traf­fick­ing in China is death.

In 2009, China ex­e­cuted a Bri­ton, Ak­mal Shaikh, on charges of smug­gling heroin de­spite his sup­port­ers’ protest that he was men­tally ill.

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