World Media

Canada's Trudeau Rules out Releasing Huawei Tech Executive

Former Chretien cabinet minister Allan Rock in 2014. Sean Kilpatrick  The Canadian Press  File

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday dominated out releasing a high Chinese language tech government in an try and win the discharge of two Canadians detained by Beijing.

"The Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) political persecution and arbitrary detainment of these two Canadian citizens, while Canada continues to uphold the rule of law in the case of Meng Wanzhou, only reinforces the global community's concerns about the CCP's complete disregard for individual rights and the fair and just application of the law".

Former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor - who've come to be known as the Two Michaels - were arrested separately nine days after Canadian authorities arrested Meng on December 1, 2018, during a layover at the Vancouver airport.

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton has insisted in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's "The Current" that the U.S. criminal case against Huawei's CFO Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Canada, is not politically motivated. "We can not allow political pressures or random arrests of Canadian citizens to influence the functioning of our justice system", Trudeau told reporters, according to Reuters.

The group of 19 wrote Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saying that "the time is past due" for Canada to halt Meng's extradition process in order to get "the two Michaels" released.

"Randomly arresting Canadians doesn't give you leverage over the government of Canada", Mr Trudeau said.

Meng is wanted in the United States for alleged fraud involving the Chinese tech giant's use of a covert subsidiary to sell to Iran in breach of U.S. sanctions.

The letter to Trudeau stresses: "There is no question that the US extradition request has put Canada in a hard position".

The letter was signed by former Supreme Court justice Louise Arbour, ex-foreign ministers Lloyd Axworthy and Lawrence Cannon, and former attorney general Allan Rock, among others.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Trudeau rejected the notion out of hand.

"Canada has a strong and independent justice system", Trudeau said.

Trudeau's comments come in the face of rising pressure from all corners - including within his own party.

The Chinese government's latest call for Canada to release Meng was similar to the one issued Wednesday by a group of prominent former Canadian politicians and diplomats.

"I respect the distinguished Canadians who put forward that letter, but I deeply disagree with them", Trudeau told a daily briefing.

Ms Meng is free on bail and lives in her Vancouver mansion. It is a horribly painful truth to admit, but the truth nonetheless, that Canada's national interest is bigger than the lives of two people, and its foreign policy can not be their ransom.

Beijing harshly condemned the arrest of its citizen on accusations that it also sees as politically charged and has since been demanding her release, cutting off some imports from Canada in response to the country's actions.

Her extradition trial is set to resume in August.

The letter from the 19 Canadians acknowledges the hard decision facing Trudeau. "However, resisting China's pressure is no guarantee that it will never be applied again in the future".