News Update

Canadian businessman Michael Spavor sentenced by Chinese court to 11 years in prison for spying

Hong Kong

A Chinese court has sentenced Canadian businessman Michael Spavor to 11 years in prison for espionage.

Spavor, a Beijing-based businessman who regularly traveled to North Korea, was sentenced after being found guilty of spying and illegally providing state secrets to foreign countries, the Dandong Intermediate People’s Court said in a statement Wednesday.

The court said Spavor would also be deported, without specifying whether it was before or after he served his prison sentence.

Spavor was detained in December 2018 alongside Canadian Michael Kovrig on espionage charges. The two men were detained following the arrest in Vancouver of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese tech giant Huawei, over allegations the company violated United States sanctions on Iran.

Meng – whose extradition hearing is ongoing – has been held under house arrest in Vancouver since 2018.

This is a breaking story, more to follow.

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