Canadians Michael Kovrig (left) and Michael Spavor were detained in China and are being held in harsh conditions. (The Canadian Press/AP)

China ratchets up accusations against Canadians

China has made new allegations against two Canadians it has detained in apparent retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Huawei top executive Meng Wanzhou, according to China’s state-controlled news agency. Xinhua News Agency quotes unnamed Chinese authorities as saying former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor acted together to steal state secrets.

The two are being detained in harsh conditions that involve intense interrogation, 24-hour lighting and limited access to Canadian consular officials. 

Meng extradition hearing to go ahead

The new allegations come on the heels of Canada’s decision on March 1, 2019 to go ahead and hear the U.S. request for the extradition of Meng on fraud charges linked to sanctions against Iran. Meng will have the opportunity to contest the extradition request in court.

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou has been released on bail and is living in one of her mansions in Vancouver while she awaits her court hearings. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press/Dec. 12, 2018)

Meng sues police, border services

She has also launched civil lawsuits against the Canada Border Services Agency and the national police, the RCMP with regards her initial arrests in December 2018. Meng alleges she was detained and questioned for three hours without being advised of her rights, and that her electronic devices were unlawfully searched.

The International Crisis Group which now employs Spavor issued a statement saying “Michael’s work for Crisis Group has been entirely transparent and in the open as all who follow his work can attest. Vague and unsubstantiated accusations against him are unwarranted and unfair.”

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