The Canadian government just announced that Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are being released and are currently on a flight back to Canada.
The two Canadians were almost immediately arrested on December 18, just days after Canada detained Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on behalf of the US after the US claimed that Wanzhou was guilty of multiple counts of international fraud.
To date, the Two Michaels have served over 1,000 days of imprisonment in China under baseless espionage charges, as a result of what many call retaliatory action and “hostage diplomacy”.
Earlier today, Wanzhou pleaded not guilty as part of a deferred prosecution agreement with the US government — with both parties clearly tired of the ordeal.
PM Trudeau appears to have lucked out as the last-minute diplomatic decisions, which led to the release of the two Michaels, were left to the US, who bargained when Trudeau had spent two years impotently.
In response to her detainment, China almost immediately arrested two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, on baseless espionage charges only days after in what many call retaliation for Canada’s part in the diplomatic tussle.
As mentioned, this case began in 2018, when Wanzhou was infamously detained at Vancouver International Airport on a US warrant related to Huawei’s business in Iran. She has been under house arrest in her mansion in Vancouver ever since, but she was rapidly released today following a US and BC court order.
Spavor had previously been charged with eleven years in a Chinese prison, while Korvig had yet to be sentenced.
While PM Justin Trudeau called the charges “trumped up” until now, it appeared that he had yet to take any decisive action but said that the release of these Canadians is central to all discussion.
Again, it appears that the two Canadians’ releases were entirely contingent upon the US and China’s diplomacy, with Canada playing a wallflower role, merely watching as their citizens were dangled before their eyes.
“You would get the plea by Meng Wanzhou, and then at some later date, we would see the two Michaels deported back to Canada, but I would not expect it to follow in a matter of days,” Robertson told the CBC earlier today.
“This would be a negotiation involving Canada, but it would be principally between the US and China.”