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Crisis Group says it trusts Ottawa to help free detainees after McCallum firing

OTTAWA — The employer of a Canadian man detained in China is expressing confidence in the Trudeau government following the firing of John McCallum.

A spokesman for the International Crisis Group, where Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig was working on a leave of absence, says it trusts the government in how it is trying to win his release.

Karim Lebhour, spokesman for the International Crisis Group, tells The Canadian Press today that the organization is in close contact with the government.

The organization isn’t commenting further because it doesn’t want to do anything to jeopardize Kovrig, who was arrested more than a month ago along with Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor on vague suspicions of violating Chinese national security.

The arrests came after Canada detained Meng Wanzhou, the Huawei executive, on Dec. 1 after a request by the United States, which wants to extradite her on fraud charges.

McCallum opined twice last week on the Meng case, even though he apologized for misspeaking first time, sowing further chaos in Canada’s relations with China and raising concerns about the government’s efforts to win the release of Spavor and Kovrig.

The Canadian Press