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Son of Canadians probed in China calls for Ottawa action

Published on Aug 6, 2014 2:06 PM
Peter Garratt, one of the sons of Canadian couple Kevin and Julia Dawn Garratt who are being investigated in China for threatening national security, stands outside his parents' coffee shop as he talks to Reuters journalists in Dandong, Liaoning province, on Aug 6, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (AFP) - The son of a Canadian couple under investigation for alleged spying in China called on Wednesday for Ottawa to help prevent charges being laid against his parents.

Kevin Garratt and Julia Dawn Garratt "are suspected of gathering and stealing intelligence materials about, among other things, China's military objectives and important national defence research projects", China's foreign ministry said in a faxed statement on Wednesday. Such activities "harm China's security", it added.

The Christian couple run a coffee shop in the north-eastern Chinese city of Dandong, on the border with North Korea.

"I really hope the Canadian government puts some resources into it and really tries to resolve it quickly," their son Simeon Garratt told AFP by phone from Vancouver, where he lives. "Because I think the longer it goes on it's exponentially worse for my parents."

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