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China sentences Canadian man to death for drug smuggling

The court in the city of Dalian, China. Photo: 14 January 2019Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

The Canadian national was sentenced to death by the court in the north-eastern city of Dalian

A court in China has sentenced a Canadian to death for drug smuggling, a verdict likely to reignite a diplomatic row between the two countries.

Robert Lloyd Schellenberg had been given a 15-year jail term in 2016, but after an appeal in 2018 a court said the sentence was too lenient.

That ruling came shortly after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, a top official at Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, on a request from the US.

She was granted bail in December.

Ms Meng, 46, is the daughter of Huawei’s founder and her detention has angered China and soured its relations with both Canada and the US.

China has since detained two Canadian nationals, accusing them of endangering national security.

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What about Schellenberg’s case?

Schellenberg was arrested in 2014 and accused of trafficking 200g of methamphetamine.

In November 2016, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

But following an appeal, a high court in the north-eastern city of Dalian on Monday sentenced the Canadian national to death.

The court also ruled that all of his financial assets must be confiscated.

“I am not a drug smuggler. I came to China as a tourist,” Schellenberg said just before the verdict was announced, the AFP news agency reports.

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