Trudeau to China: Respect Diplomatic Immunity of Detained Canadian

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Canadian diplomats in China on Thursday held their second meeting with one of two citizens who were detained last month after the arrest of a senior Chinese executive in Vancouver, the Canadian foreign ministry said.

China arrested former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor on vague national security allegations.

The arrests came after a top Chinese executive was arrested in Canada on December 1 at the request of Washington, which wants Meng Wanzhou extradited to face charges that she misled banks about the company's business dealings in Iran.

Trudeau, speaking Friday during a press conference in Regina, reiterated that Canada was operating under the "rule of law" in the Meng case, including granting her bail to allow her to be in her own home. He encouraged China to do the same. But Trudeau said Friday that China is "not respecting the principles of diplomatic immunity".

"This is something that we are engaged right now both with Chinese officials and with our partners around the world where there is a concern for the need for all countries to do like Canada and to respect the rule of law and the independence of our judicial processes". He added saying, "We have a justice system that is not subject to political interference".

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It was the first public comment on Kovrig's status.

According to the Vienna Convention, persons carrying a diplomatic passport enjoy immunity when they are overseas.

Ottawa has called for the Canadians' immediate release, a request backed by Australia, Britain, France, Germany, the European Union and the United States.

China's ambassador to Canada accused the country this week of "white supremacy" in calling for the release of the two Canadians detained in China last month, while describing the detentions as an "act of self-defense".

Officials previously said he wasn't protected by diplomatic immunity.

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