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Don't make Kovrig suffer over Meng, says detained Canadian's boss

Last Updated May 27, 2020 at 1:20 pm PDT

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, leaves B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, Wednesday, May 27, 2020 after the judge found that there is double criminality in the extradition of Wanzhou. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

OTTAWA — The boss of one of the two Canadians imprisoned in China says he doesn’t want the People’s Republic to subject them to repercussions because today’s court ruling went against its wishes.

Robert Malley, the head of the Washington-based International Crisis Group, tells The Canadian Press that China should still release the two men, after a British Columbia judge ruled against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Justice Heather Holmes ruled that the allegations against Meng, who is wanted on fraud charges in the United States, could constitute a crime in Canada so her extradition case continues, and she will remain in custody — on bail in a luxury Vancouver home.

Michael Kovrig, an ex-diplomat working for the Crisis Group, and Michael Spavor, an entrepreneur, have been in Chinese prisons with no access to lawyers or their families since they were arrested nine days after Meng’s arrest by the RCMP in December 2018.

Malley says he has no comment on the Wednesday ruling, but says that Kovrig, and by extension Spavor, must not suffer any negative repercussions of the ruling in the Meng case.

Malley was speaking one day after the spokesman for China’s foreign ministry warned of consequences if Wednesday’s ruling didn’t result in Meng’s release.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 27, 2020.

The Canadian Press