Trudeau accuses China of 'arbitrarily' sentencing Canadian man to death

Trudeau accuses China of 'arbitrarily' sentencing Canadian man to death
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A Chinese court on Monday sentenced a Canadian man to death amid heightened tensions between the countries, prompting criticism from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The Associated Press reported that the court convicted Robert Lloyd Schellenberg of being an accessory to drug smuggling and sentenced him to death. Schellenberg, who was detained more than four years ago, was sentenced in 2016 to 15 years in prison.

An appeals court last month scheduled a retrial on just four days' notice after prosecutors argued Schellenberg's sentence was too lenient, the AP reported. Schellenberg has maintained his innocence.


Trudeau accused China of "arbitrarily" applying the death penalty in Schellenberg's case.

The sentencing comes more than a month after Canadian authorities detained Meng Wanzhou, an executive with Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies. 

Canadian authorities arrested Meng at the request of the U.S., which alleged that Huawei violated U.S. trade sanctions against Iran.

Within weeks of Meng's arrest, China had detained two Canadian citizens on suspicion of "engaging in activities that endanger the national security" of China. A third Canadian was detained and later released.