Chinese prosecutors have formally laid charges against Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians who have been detained for well over a year, on allegations of espionage.
Statements posted by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate on Friday say Kovrig is charged with spying on state secrets and intelligence for other countries abroad. Spavor is charged with spying on national secrets and providing those secrets outside China.
Both statements said the charges were reached after “legal review.”
The escalation in Kovrig’s and Spavor’s legal saga, which has now lasted for over 550 days, comes after British Columbia’s Supreme Court dismissed an application from Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou to avoid extradition to the United States over fraud charges.
The two men were detained in China shortly Meng was arrested at Vancouver International Airport in December 2018. Canada has called the pair’s arrests and detention “arbitrary” and has asked repeatedly for their release.
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