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Trudeau condemns Canadian's death sentence in China

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 15, 2019 - Duration: 01:38s

Trudeau condemns Canadian's death sentence in China

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has accused China of using the death penalty arbitrarily after a Chinese court sentenced a Canadian man to be executed for drug smuggling.

Michelle Hennessy reports.

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Trudeau condemns Canadian's death sentence in China

China's sentencing of a Canadian national to death on Monday (January 14), has drawn heavy criticism from Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau blasted Beijing for the conviction of Robert Lloyd Schellenberg on drug offences.

It's dealt a further blow to already icy relations between the two sides.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER, JUSTIN TRUDEAU, SAYING: "I will say it is of extreme concern to us as a government as it should be to all our international friends and allies that China has chosen to begin to arbitrarily apply death penalty in cases facing - as in this case - facing a Canadian." State television showed Schellenberg in court, where prosecutors claimed he was involved in organized international drug crimes.

He's accused of attempting to smuggle nearly 490 pounds of methamphetamine out of China in 2014.

Schellenberg claims he was framed, his lawyer says he's likely to appeal the ruling.

Late on Monday, Canada's Foreign Ministry updated its travel advisory for China, warning citizens about the quote "arbitrary enforcement" of local law.

Ties between China and Canada turned sour last year after the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, an executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei, at the request of the United States.

U.S. authorities allege Meng deceived international banks into clearing transactions with Iran.

China's subsequent detention of two Canadians, was labelled as a tit-for-tat reprisal by Western diplomats, though Beijing has never drawn a direct link between the cases and Meng's arrest.

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