Canadian 'overjoyed' to reunite with family after China release

OTTAWA • Canadian Michael Spavor expressed joy on Friday at being reunited with his family after being released from jail in China last month.

"I'm overjoyed to be finally reunited with my family. It's humbling as I begin to understand the continued support that we've received from Canadians and those around the world, thank you," Mr Spavor said in a first statement since his release.

Mr Spavor, a businessman, and fellow Canadian Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat, were released late last month after being detained by the Chinese authorities just days after Huawei Technologies' chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver in December 2018.

The two men were released within hours of Ms Meng reaching a deal with prosecutors in the United States to end the bank fraud case against her, after being held for more than 1,000 days. Beijing has denied that their arrests were linked to Ms Meng's case.

Mr Spavor was accused of supplying photographs of military equipment to Mr Kovrig and sentenced in August to 11 years in jail. Mr Kovrig had been awaiting sentencing. The families of the two men have said they were innocent.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 03, 2021, with the headline 'Canadian 'overjoyed' to reunite with family after China release'. Subscribe