The fate of two Canadian men facing trial in China is now, for all intents and purposes, up to U.S. President Joe Biden to decide, experts say.
China’s announcement this week that it will have snap trials for Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, imprisoned since December 2018, is a political move to pressure Washington to withdraw its extradition request for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.
Kyla Lee, a defence lawyer practicing in Vancouver, told the Star that even if these arguments prove unsuccessful, the process could still take years.
With Meng’s resources, she can easily afford to appeal the decisions and fight this all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.
“The abuse of process angle is an important one. In my experience, the training and implementation of Charter rights by border officials is not up to the standard that it should be, and this case because of its profile could inform massive changes in that procedure,” Lee said.
“That being said, the standard to prove that (Meng’s treatment) amounted to an abuse of process is very high. The defence will essentially have to show that this was deliberate conduct, and not simply some ignorance of Charter obligations by the police.”
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