A Canadian man convicted of drug trafficking in China faces the possibility of more serious charges after a court ordered a new trial amid tensions over Canada's arrest of a Chinese technology executive.
"Global Affairs Canada has been following of this case for several years and has been providing consular assistance to the Canadian citizen since they were first detained in Liaoning, China", spokesman Richard Walker said.
Schellenberg played an "important role" in drug smuggling and was potentially involved in worldwide organised drug trafficking activities, said the court, and passed his case back to the lower Dalian court for a retrial without specifying a date. She was the third Canadian to be detained by China following the December 1 arrest in Vancouver of Chinese telecom giant Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, the Guardian reported on Saturday.
The court said it accepted this argument and ordered a retrial.
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Teacher Sarah McIver, from Alberta, was held for "unlawfully working in China".
According to the Liaoning High People's Court, officials from the Canadian embassy in China attended Schellenberg's hearing, as well as reporters from foreign media.
The relevant governmental departments confirmed with Global Times Schellenberg's identity as a Canadian citizen.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has confirmed that McIver's case does not appear to be linked to that of the other two detainees.
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Drugs offences are usually punished severely in China.
China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement sent to Reuters that it was aware of reports McIver had been released, and referred further questions to the "relevant authority".
Last week, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said McIver had received an "administrative penalty (for) illegal employment".
A Dalian government news portal said this week Schellenberg had smuggled "an enormous amount of drugs" into China.
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