As was widely expected after a Chinese court ordered a retrial of Canadian national Robert Schellenberg on drug trafficking charges last month, the Canadian national has now been sentenced to death for allegedly smuggling "an enormous amount of drugs" into China. He had earlier been sentenced to 15 years.
Breaking- Chinese state media: Canadian Robert Schellenberg sentenced to dead for drug smuggling after Chinese prosecutors appealed his 15-year original sentence.
The harsh sentence, like the arrests of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor on vague charges of threatening national security (an investigation is reportedly ongoing, according to Chinese officials), is widely suspected to be retaliation for the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou (who is also the daughter of the conglomerate's founder.
Few details about Schellenberg's case have been shared with the media, other than the fact that he was arrested in 2014, long before the Huawei dispute erupted. Canadian diplomats had reportedly been working with the Chinese government on the case. The retrial was ordered after Chinese prosecutors argued that Schellenberg's sentence was too lenient