Canadians accused of espionage freed from China

On Friday, the extradition case against Meng was concluded and the court ordered the release of bail conditions. This means that she has been released and the three-year legal saga is coming to an end.

– I signed the release order, Judge Heather Holmes said during the brief hearing in which lawyers for the Canadian government on behalf of the United States asked for the proceedings to be postponed and the bail to be removed .

The BC Supreme Court’s decision came after Meng reached a settlement with US prosecutors to avoid being charged with fraud.

RELEASED: Meng Wanzhou outside his home in Vancouver, Canada on Friday as he made his way to court. Photo: Darryl Dyck/AP/NTB

Thanks for the support – left the same day

Meng spent nearly three years under house arrest in Vancouver. Outside the city’s courthouse, Meng thanked the judge, his supporters, Chinese authorities and even Canadian authorities for “upholding the law.”

– In the past three years, my life has been turned upside down. It was an overwhelming time for me as a mother, wife and leader, Meng said, adding:

– I believe that behind the clouds the sky is blue. It was an invaluable experience in my life. And as they say, the greater the resistance, the greater the growth.

At the same time, the Department of Justice Canada issued a statement which confirms that Meng can now freely leave the country. Meng did so soon after. Television footage shows she boarded an Air China flight to the southeastern city of Shenzhen.

Agreement in place

Earlier Friday, a hearing on Meng’s case was held in New York. Here, the US Department of Justice said it had reached an agreement with her.

Meng has agreed not to challenge the presentation by US authorities of certain facts described in a document that has not yet been made public.

If she sticks to the deal, the fraud charges will be dropped. In the same agreement, the United States withdrew its extradition request, which paved the way for Meng to return to China.

- In the past three years, my life has been turned upside down.  It was an overwhelming time for me as a mother, wife and leader, Meng Wanzhou said outside the Vancouver courthouse after her release was announced.  Photo: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP/NTB

– In the past three years, my life has been turned upside down. It was an overwhelming time for me as a mother, wife and leader, Meng Wanzhou said outside the Vancouver courthouse after her release was announced. Photo: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP/NTB

Stopped in 2018

Meng was arrested in Canada in 2018 due to an extradition request from the United States. She has been accused by US authorities of fraud and violation of US sanctions against Iran. She always said she was innocent and the case was politically motivated.

Meng is Huawei’s chief financial officer and the daughter of the Chinese telecommunications giant’s founder, Ren Zhengfei.

Meng’s arrest and detention contributed to the deterioration of relations between Canada and China. Shortly after Meng’s arrest, two Canadian citizens were arrested in China.

China releases two Canadians

The two Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig were charged with espionage in 2018, shortly after Meng was charged in Canada.

In August, businessman Michael Spavor was found guilty of spying and unlawfully sharing state secrets. He was sentenced to eleven years in prison by a court in Dandong City.

Former diplomat Michael Kovrig has also been indicted on similar charges. The cases have led to a very strained relationship between Canada and China. They both took place behind closed doors, and Canadians expressed serious concerns about the lack of transparency.

The Michaels, as they became known, have always denied any wrongdoing.

On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that they had both been released and had “leaved Chinese airspace and were returning home.” They will arrive on Saturday, Trudeau said at a news conference in Ottawa.

– It is good news for all of us that they are on their way back to their families. The past 1,000 days have shown strength, endurance, resilience and grace, Trudeau said.

Alice Williamson

"Explorer. Food advocate. Analyst. Freelance bacon practitioner. Future teen idol. Proud pop culture expert."

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