China court orders retrial for Canadian jailed for drug smuggling

01 January, 2019, 10:17 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Alberta teacher Sarah McIver returned to Canada after arrest in China

Schellenberg played an "important role" in drug smuggling and was potentially involved in global organised drug trafficking activities, said the court, and passed his case back to the lower Dalian court for a retrial without specifying a date.

In a statement Saturday, the Canadian government said it has been following the case. Hua also added that the teacher's situation was different from the two other Canadian detainees.

Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of electronics giant Huawei Technologies, is wanted in the United States on allegations she lied to American banks as part of an effort to get around sanctions on Iran.

Canadian government said on Friday, China had released the third Canadian citizen, who was detained in Beijing earlier this month on December 19.

Drugs offences are usually punished severely in China.

China exercises a zero-tolerance policy towards drug trafficking, and has handed death sentences to foreigners found guilty of smuggling large quantities of illicit drugs.

At the appeal hearing, prosecutors said the sentence was too light and improper, arguing Schellenberg was very likely to have been part of a global drugs smuggling operation and had played a major role in smuggling the drugs.


Since then, China has arrested two Canadians on charges of endangering national security in what appeared to be retaliation.

China executed a Briton caught smuggling heroin in 2009, prompting a British outcry over what it said was the lack of any mental health assessment.

McIver, who was detained and sentenced to administrative punishment for illegal employment, was teaching English at a school somewhere in China (the exact region she was working in has not been made public). They have each only been allowed to see Canadian diplomats once since being detained.

Authorities have released no details of the accusations against Schellenberg.

Meng was arrested at the request of USA prosecutors and faces extradition on charges of violating sanctions on Iran.

McIver's detention was confirmed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on December 19, who said at the time that the detention was more "routine" than the previous two cases.

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