A Canadian man, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg who was convicted of smuggling drugs in China has been sentenced to death and Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has said the decision is of extreme concern to his Government and looking to intercede on the decision.
According to report, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg was first arrested in China in 2014. He was tried in 2016 and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Prosecutors appealed that verdict last month, arguing that the sentence was too lenient.
A new trial on Robert Lloyd Schellenberg was ordered and took place on Monday, in China’s Liaoning province, with Schellenberg being found guilty and given a death sentence.
Robert Lloyd Schellenberg has 10 days to appeal the sentence, according to his lawyer, Zhang Dongshuo.
According to the court, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg was recruited to help smuggle 222 kilograms of methamphetamine from a Chinese warehouse to Australia.
Speaking to reporters in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Canadian government would intercede on behalf of Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, as it is required to do anytime Canadian faces the death penalty abroad.
“It is of extreme concern to us as a government, as it should be to all our international friends and allies, that China has chosen to arbitrarily apply [the] death penalty,” he said.
While unusual, it is not unprecedented for a foreign national to be sentenced to death in China. British resident Akmal Shaikh was executed in 2009 for smuggling heroin.
Chinese officials have suggested that Schellenberg’s case is not related to the arrests of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor last month or the arrest in Canada of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.
However, some analysts have suggested that Schellenberg’s fate could become a part of diplomatic negotiations between the two countries.
Schellenberg’s case was never publicized by Chinese media until shortly after Meng’s arrest.
Canadian diplomats were present for Schellenberg’s retrial, the court said.