Mar 04, 2019

By Jane Brown

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China is now claiming detained Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are spies.

(Michael Kovrig (left) and Michael Spavor (right) are seen in this composite image).

Beijing alleges the former diplomat acted as a spy and stole Chinese state secrets and intelligence with the entrepreneur’s assistance.

Both men were arrested in early December in a possible attempt to pressure Canada to release Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Meantime, the lawsuit brought by Meng Wanzhou against the Canadian government and law enforcement may be part of a larger”legal strategy” to affect extradition proceedings and a possible future criminal case stateside.

One Vancouver criminal lawyer says while the lawsuit itself is on solid footing and refers to established Supreme Court precedent, awards in civil claims like the one brought by Meng are generally only in the thousands of dollars.

Kyla Lee says Meng’s extraordinary wealth suggests the likely motivation for the lawsuit is its use as a tool in her longer term bid to avoid extradition to the U.S. to face criminal charges.

Lawyers for Meng Wanzhou say they’ve filed a notice of civil claim in B.C. Supreme Court.

Canada arrested Meng at the request of the United States on December 1st at Vancouver International Airport.

The suit alleges that, instead of immediately arresting her, authorities interrogated Meng “under the guise of a routine customs” examination and used the opportunity to “compel her to provide evidence and information.”

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