Canada’s ‘two Michaels’ on a plane back from China: Trudeau

VANCOUVER – Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are on a plane heading back to Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday night.

Speaking from Parliament Hill, Trudeau made the announcement shortly before 9 p.m. Friday. The two men have been detained in China for more than 1,000 days.

“Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor left Chinese airspace. They are on their way home, ”Trudeau said in Ottawa. “These two men have been through an incredibly difficult experience.

“Over the past 1,000 days they have shown strength, perseverance, endurance and grace and we are all inspired by them.”

They were arrested shortly after Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested at Vancouver International Airport in 2018 at the request of the United States, where she was wanted on fraud charges at the time.

Experts suggested that the arrest of the men nicknamed “the two Michaels” was in retaliation for Meng’s arrest.

The men were released hours after Canadian authorities withdrew an extradition request from Wanzhou after it reached a deferred prosecution agreement with the US.

The men were charged with espionage offenses and Spavor was convicted in August but has yet to be convicted.

More to come …

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