Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for more than 1,000 days have been released and are expected to reach Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday.
why it matters: His release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a settlement with the US Justice Department that resolves criminal charges against him and could pave the way for him to return to China.
Catch up quickly: Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were detained in December 2018 after Meng was arrested in Vancouver for allegedly violating US sanctions on Iran.
- Two men were charged with espionage.
- Spavor, a businessman, was sentenced to 11 years in prison, while Kovrig, a former diplomat, was expected to finish his trial in March. According to CBC News.
- Eleven other Canadians were also detained in China following Meng’s arrest, some of whom were released before Friday.
What is happening now: Meng’s deal with the DOJ settles a year-long dispute involving the US, China and Canada, where Meng has remained since his arrest.
- Trudeau said Kovrig and Spavor boarded a plane with Canada’s ambassador to China at about 7:30 a.m. ET, and cleared Chinese airspace.
What are they saying: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “The US government stands with the international community in welcoming the decision of the People’s Republic of China officials after more than two and a half years of arbitrary detention of Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig. Is.” in a statement on Friday.
- “We are glad they are returning to Canada,” he said.