Chinese court awards death penalty to Canadian for drug peddling

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By Gaurav Sharma 

Beijing, Jan 14 : A Chinese court on Monday awarded death sentence to a Canadian for drugs peddling, ratcheting up tensions with Canada over the arrest of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou.

The Dalian Intermediate People’s Court in northeast China’s Liaoning Province announced the death penalty for Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, a Canadian drug smuggler, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.

The 36-year-old Canadian was detained in China in 2014 and sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2016 for drug peddling in China.

However, the court deemed the quantum of punishment for Schellenberg was way too lenient given the grave nature of his crime and ordered a retrial of the case.

Earlier in the day, Schellenberg told the court that he was being falsely implicated.

He refuted the charges of smuggling over 200 kg of methamphetamine in China

The death penalty is bound to stoke fresh tensions between Beijing and Canada who are locked in a bitter dispute over the arrest of Wanzhou.

Wanzhou, the CFO of China’s telecom equipment giant Huawei, was arrested in Canada last year for doing business with Iran by defying US sanctions against the country.

Though Wanzhou has been granted bail, she faces possible extradition to the US.

Her arrest is followed by the detention of two Canadians by the Chinese authorities who Beijing accuses of endangering national security.