A standing ovation for the two Michaels following their release from Chinese prisons a couple of years ago Ottawa claimed they were political pawns detained following the arrest of a Chinese Tech executive Mong Wan Joe in Vancouver but according to the glob and mail spavor lawyers are telling a
Different story long before his arrest the entrepreneur had moved to China and was working to drum up investments in North Korea way passports here in 2013 spavor made headlines when he helped to facilitate a trip to the hermit Kingdom for American basketball star Dennis Rodman that led to spavor unlikely
Friendship with North Korea’s reclusive dictator Kim Jong-un it’s alleged that spavor later recounted his experiences to fellow Canadian expat Michael cover over drinks according to the globe report spavor lawyers alleged that unbeknownst to him cover then shared that intelligence with officials in Ottawa and in Beijing which ultimately
Led to spavor arrest it’s such a immense relief to be back in Canada C was working as a diplomat at the Canadian embassy in Beijing and in 2017 joined an independent Global Think Tank the international crisis group the federal government says C was not a spy and has
Never worked for CIS diplomatic officers are tasked with collecting information on security in countries of strategic importance but they are not meant to conduct covert operations a government spokesperson told Global News perpetuating the notion that either Michael was involved in Espionage is only perpetuating a false narrative under which they were detained by
China joining us now from Montreal is G stjc who was Canada’s former ambassador to China between 2012 and 2016 uh Mr stjc thank you so much for joining us nice to see you uh let’s start first with with your reaction to the revelations we’ve learned today well I
Knew that there were uh ongoing negotiations uh uh taking place in Ottawa I know that those with Michael cck were settled some time ago I didn’t know exactly where uh the negotiations were uh with Mr sper but of course uh he is making some serious allegations and I
Must say that based on my experience um uh you know I don’t think it’s the the full story H what do you mean by that well I think that the Mr sper was watched by the the Chinese security people and the reason for this is that China considers North Korea as
Its backyard and here is a foreigner a Canadian who has a very close access to the North Korean leader Kim jongan something that no Chinese has and and for that uh there was a bit of jealousy or concern uh of how influential Mr sper could be and from my perspective I think
This is the main reason why he was arrested by the Chinese as noted Mr CG worked at the embassy there at around the same time as your tenure was Mr CG a ce’s agent no no not at all in fact he was a a good uh political uh officer and there
Is an important distinction with spying work and uh uh political reporting work uh diplomats that are assigned to political sections abroad are charged with doing political reporting of course in a country like China it’s very difficult to have access to good information because it’s so opaque and
Uh Michael being able to travel around uh you know I’m sure that the anyone at the embassy would have been interested to to hear what he had learned during his trips and Michael kic was very open about this you know that this was not done in secret G jacqu for Canada’s
Former ambassador to China thank you so much for your time really appreciate it thank you
A new bombshell revelation in the case of the Two Michaels — the Canadians detained in China for nearly three years, accused of spying.
A new report from the Globe and Mail, citing unnamed sources, claims Michael Spavor is seeking a multimillion-dollar settlement from Ottawa claiming he was an unwitting victim, and blaming the Canadian government and Michael Kovrig for his detention.
According to the report, Spavor’s lawyers allege Kovrig shared intelligence with officials in Ottawa and in Beijing, which ultimately led to Spavor’s arrest. The federal government says Kovrig was not a spy and has never worked for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).
Guy Saint-Jacques, the former Canadian ambassador to China, speaks with Global’s Jeff Semple on the allegations.
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