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China: Canadian citizen loses appeal against death penalty

A Canadian citizen has lost his appeal against a death sentence in China for drug smuggling.

The court said it upheld Robert Lloyd Schellenberg's sentence because evidence against him was "sufficient".

Schellenberg was initially sentenced to 15 years in jail, but in 2019 an appeal court said this was too lenient, leading to a retrial and a death sentence.

The verdict comes as relations between Canada and China remain fraught.

The Canadian ambassador to China, Dominic Barton, condemned the Chinese court's ruling, saying it was "no coincidence" that the verdict was released while an extradition battle involving senior Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou was ongoing in Canada.

Ms Meng, the daughter of the founder of the Chinese telecoms company, is currently detained in Canada on a US warrant.

Canada had earlier accused China of conducting "hostage diplomacy", though Beijing denies the cases are linked.


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