Arrest of a Canadian teacher in China linked to administrative error

Arrest of a Canadian teacher in China linked to administrative error

Arrest of a Canadian teacher in China linked to administrative error

A Chinese court said Saturday that a 15-year jail sentence for a Canadian national charged with drug smuggling was too "lenient" and remanded his case for a retrial. But his case has been publicized by the Chinese press following the December 1 arrest of the chief financial officer of tech giant Huawei on US charges related to trading with Iran.

A Canadian citizen who was detained in China earlier this month amid frosty relations between the two countries has been released and returned to Canada, officials said.

The European Union says it supports Ottawa in the struggle over three Canadians detained in China, and that two of them are being blocked from seeing a lawyer.

The Canadian national was held by local authorities and believed to have smuggled an "enormous amount" of drugs, ECNS, the English-language website of China News Service, reported citing, a website run by the Dalian Radio and Television Station.

Schellenberg's trial comes amid reports in global media that another Canadian, Sarah McIver - who was taken into "administrative detention" for "working illegally" in China - has been released and has returned to Canada.

According to a court statement published online after the appeal hearing, he was found guilty of drug smuggling and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, ordered to pay about $22,000 (150,000 yuan) and to be deported.

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.

China severely punishes those caught smuggling or trafficking drugs, including foreigners.

According to news reports, Canadian government spokesperson did not give further details over detained citizen release and return to Canada.

China's Foreign Ministry said this month that McIver was undergoing "administrative punishment" for working illegally.

Tensions between the two governments have been high since Canada's arrest of a high-ranking Chinese executive at the request of the United States this month, followed by China's detainment of two Canadian citizens on suspicion of endangering state security.

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