Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, who had been imprisoned on espionage charges since December 2018, landed at the Calgary International Airport early Saturday morning. They were greeted at the airport by Prime Minister Trudeau.
Meanwhile Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou arrived home in China to a cheering crowd according to Chinese media, which made no mention of the release of the two Canadians. In a discussion on CBC Radio’s the House today, a panel that included Canada’s former ambassador to China, the consensus was that the quick release of the two Michaels, was proof that they had been simply hostages, and that the espionage allegations were trumped up.
Ms. Meng was released after a plea deal that effectively dismissed the fraud charges that had been laid by the US Justice Department. She was arresyted in Vancouver and placed under house arrest. Her extradition hearing had concluded pending a judge’s decision. During the trial, the judge expressed skepticism about the Crown’s case. It’s not clear if uncertainty about the possible verdict played a role in the US Justice Department’s decision to make the deferred prosecution deal: but Meng pointedly thanked the Canadian Crown and the judge for “following the rule of law,” before she headed to the airport for the trip back to China.