Canadian citizen loses appeal against Chinese death penalty
Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, a Canadian national, has lost his appeal against a death sentence in China that he received due to charges of drug smuggling. The Chinese court upheld the sentence due to the evidence against him being deemed sufficient. Schellenberg was initially sentenced to 15 years in jail, however, a 2019 appeal court determined that the sentence was too lenient. This lead to a retrial and subsequent death sentence. The verdict comes as relations between Canada and China remain strained. Dominic Barton, the Canadian ambassador to China, condemned the verdict and stated that he believed it was not a coincidence that the sentence was delivered while an extradition battle involving Meng Wanzhou, a senior Huawei executive, was occurring in Canada.
Meng Wanzhou is the daughter of the founder of Huawei, a Chinese telecoms company, and is currently detained in Canada on a US warrant. Schellenberg was detained in 2014 and was later charged with planning to smuggle almost 500lb of methamphetamine from China to Australia. Schellenberg denies the charges completely and maintains that he went to China as a tourist.