Published: Tue, January 01, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Canadian drug smuggler faces retrial as China says 15 yrs too lenient

Canadian drug smuggler faces retrial as China says 15 yrs too lenient

Canadian convicted of drug trafficking in China faces the possibility of more serious charges after a court on Saturday ordered a new trial amid tensions over Canada's arrest of a Chinese technology executive.

Schellenberg is the first foreigner to be tried in China on drug-smuggling charges in nine years.

The two countries are in diplomatic dire straits after China detained two Canadians - former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and China-based businessman Michael Spavor - whom they accuse of engaging in activities that "endanger China's security".

Robert Lloyd Schellenberg had lodged an appeal after being handed a 15 year sentence on November 20 in the northeastern city of Dalian, the high court for the province of Liaoning said in a statement, adding that he was to have been deported after serving his sentence.

Though no link has been officially made, the arrests seem to be in retaliation to Canada's December 1 arrest of Meng Wanzhou, a top executive at Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei She was detained on a request from the United States, which has accused her of violating sanctions of Iran. The court ordered the case to return to the trial court, but a retrial date has not been set yet.

The maximum penalty for drug trafficking in China is death. It added that Canadian diplomats were in court for the appeal.

Teacher Sarah McIver, from Alberta, was held for "unlawfully working in China".

Both China and Canada have insisted that McIver's case is different from the other two.

The official website of the court released a statement on Wednesday saying the court will accept the appeal of the defendant Schellenberg at 2pm local time Saturday.

Four other Japanese were executed in China in 2010 for drugs offences.

A Chinese government news portal,, identified Schellenberg as Canadian and said he was accused of smuggling an "enormous amount" of drugs.

USA authorities claim Meng Wanzhou lied to US banks to get around sanctions against Iran asked to extradite the executive.

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