The court hearing for Canadian citizen Michael Spavor, detained by China since late 2018 on suspicion of espionage, ended on Friday after around two hours with no verdict. Spavor and his lawyer appeared for the hearing and the court will later set a date to issue a verdict, the Dandong Intermediate People’s Court said in a statement on its website.
The 45-year-old businessman was not seen outside the court and there was no word on his condition. Michael Spavor, who was charged with “probing into and illegally providing state secrets” to foreign actors, attended the closed-door trial on Friday with his lawyer, according to a statement from a municipal court in the northeastern city of Dandong, where the proceedings took place. Officials from the Canadian embassy and other nations including the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Australia, Sweden and Germany were present outside the court as they sought access to the hearing. They were not allowed to enter. Sidewalks were roped off with police tape and journalists were kept at a distance as police cars and vans with lights flashing entered the court complex.
China arrested Spavor and fellow Canadian Michael Kovrig in December 2018, soon after Canadian police detained Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies, on a US warrant. Beijing insists the detentions are not linked to the arrest of Meng, who remains under house arrest in Vancouver as she fights extradition to the United States.