Sep 25, 2021
By Jeremy Logan
After spending nearly three years imprisoned in China, Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig are finally on their way home.
They boarded a flight Friday at around the same time Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou was flying to China from Vancouver after her own legal saga ended in a deal that saw the U.S. withdraw its extradition request against her.
The two Michaels – as Spavor and Kovrig have become known – were accompanied on their flight by Canada’s ambassador to China, Dominic Barton.
They’re expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, though specific details haven’t been released.
The pair of flights brought a dramatic end to an international battle that began with Meng’s December 2018 arrest in Vancouver at the request of the U.S. where she faced fraud and conspiracy charges related to American sanctions against Iran.
Kovrig and Spavor were arrested in China on espionage charges just days later in apparent retaliation – though Beijing always denied their cases were related to Meng’s.
While Meng was kept under house arrest at her Vancouver mansion, the Canadians faced much harsher conditions in Chinese prisons where their access to the outside world was extremely limited.