China to try Canadian citizen on drugs charges: Report

Canada has pressed for the release of the two Canadians who China detained earlier this month while China has demanded Canada free Meng, who is fighting extradition to the United States.
Canada has pressed for the release of the two Canadians who China detained earlier this month while China has demanded Canada free Meng, who is fighting extradition to the United States.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - A Chinese court will try a Canadian citizen on drugs charges on Saturday (Dec 29), a government-run news portal said, in a case that could further test already difficult relations between Beijing and Ottawa.

The two countries have sparred over the fate of two Canadian citizens detained in China on suspicion of endangering state security, and of Canada's arrest of a high-ranking Chinese executive at the request of the United States.

The high court in the north-eastern province of Liaoning said on Wednesday that a man it identified as Robert Lloyd Schellenberg would be tried on drugs smuggling charges in Dalian on Saturday.

A Dalian government news portal said late on Wednesday that Schellenberg was a Canadian citizen and that this was an appeal hearing after he was found by an earlier ruling to have smuggled "an enormous amount of drugs" into China.

There was no immediate response from the Canadian government.

Drugs offences are routinely punished severely in China.

China executed a Briton caught smuggling heroin in 2009, prompting a British outcry over what it said was the lack of any mental health assessment.

 
 

Canada has pressed for the release of the two Canadians who China detained earlier this month.

The two were detained after Canadian police arrested Huawei Technologies Co's chief financial officer, Ms Meng Wanzhou, on Dec 1. Neither country has drawn a direct connection between the cases.

China has demanded Canada free Ms Meng, who is fighting extradition to the United States.

Canada arrested Ms Meng at the request of the US, which is engaged in a trade war with China. She faces extradition to the US to face fraud charges that carry a maximum sentence of 30 years jail for each charge.