Chinese court convicts Canadian Michael Spavor in espionage case

  • World
  • Wednesday, 11 Aug 2021

FILE PHOTO: Canadian businessman Michael Spavor arrives next to the former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman (not pictured) after a trip to North Korea, at Beijing Capital International Airport, Beijing, China January 13, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) -A Chinese court convicted Canadian businessman Michael Spavor of espionage on Wednesday and sentenced him to 11 years in prison and said he will be deported, but it was not clear when, based on a statement on the court's website.

Beijing-based lawyer Mo Shaoping told Reuters that deportation generally takes place after the person has finished serving the sentence but may happen earlier for special cases.

The Dandong Intermediate Court said 50,000 yuan of Spavor's personal assets will be confiscated.

Spavor was charged with espionage in June 2019 along with fellow Canadian Michael Kovrig, at a time when relations between the two countries were at a very low level following Canada's arrest of a Huawei executive in late 2018.

Spavor's sentencing comes as lawyers in Canada representing the chief financial officer of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei make a final push to convince a court there not to extradite her to the United States.

(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley and Yew Lun Tian; Editing by Neil Fullick and Michael Perry)

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