Chinese court sentences second Canadian to death for drug crimes

BEIJING • A Chinese court said yesterday it had sentenced a Canadian to death for transporting and manufacturing drugs, the second Canadian in two days to receive the death penalty for drugs and the fourth since Canada detained a top Huawei executive in 2018.

Relations between China and Canada deteriorated sharply after Canadian police detained Huawei Technologies chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on a warrant from the United States.

Asked if the sentencing of the Canadian drug offenders was linked to Meng's case, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a briefing yesterday that China's judicial organs "handle cases independently", while also adding that "the Canadian side knows the root cause" of difficulties in China-Canada relations.

Ye Jianhui, a Canadian national, was sentenced after a trial in the southern city of Foshan, the Foshan Intermediate People's Court said in a notice on its website. Police found 218kg of white crystals containing MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, in the room used by Ye and five other men, according to a local media report.

Of the other five men, all Chinese nationals, one was sentenced to death, while the rest were given jail sentences ranging from seven years to life, according to the court notice.

The sentencing of Ye and his accomplices came just one day after another Chinese court sentenced Canadian Xu Weihong to death for making drugs.

China last year sentenced Canadians Robert Lloyd Schellenberg and Fan Wei to death on drug charges in separate cases. Both men have lodged appeals.

"Canada requests clemency for all Canadian citizens who have been sentenced to death, and calls on China to grant clemency to Mr Xu," said the Canadian Foreign Ministry spokesman John Babcock.

China-Canada relations quickly soured after Meng's arrest. Two other Canadian men - businessman Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig - were detained in China days after Meng's arrest, and were charged two months ago with espionage. China has denied that their arrests were linked to Meng's case.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 08, 2020, with the headline 'Chinese court sentences second Canadian to death for drug crimes'. Print Edition | Subscribe