The family of a Canadian citizen Robert Lloyd Schellenberg has been in shock after he was sentenced to death in China in a suspicious manner. On December 1, 2014, Robert was arrested in Southern China while trying to flee to Thailand. Officials say that he and his accomplice tried to orchestrate a drug deal. The smuggling of more than 222 kilograms (489.4 pounds) of methamphetamine from China to Australia. However, his accomplice turned himself over to the police while Robert Schellenberg ran away.
The Dalian Intermediate People’s Court in China said Robert Schellenberg was given the death penalty because of the seriousness of his crime. This move will no doubt fuel more tension between China and Canada. You may recall that Canada arrested the daughter of Huawei’s founder Meng Wanzhou on December 1. Even though she had been released on bail, she still remains in Canada awaiting extradition to the US on charges of violating sanctions against Iran.
How does this sentence relate with the Huawei official arrest?
A lot of folks may think the major reason he was given the death penalty was because of his crime. However, what you may not know is that he had already been tried as an accomplice and given a 15-year sentence in November 2018. While he was trying to appeal his 15-year sentence, the court suddenly changed the judgment saying it has found new evidence that made Robert the main suspect. Huawei official was arrested on December 1st, the Chinese court ordered a retrial of Robert Schellenberg in the same December. Not only did they order a new trial, they speedily sentenced him to death. This is because they think the 15-year initial sentence was “too lenient”. Rumor has it that the Chinese courts are under the influence of the government.
Canada’s ambassador to China 2012-2016 Guy Saint-Jacques says he believes China is making Robert a scapegoat. Ever since Meng was arrested in Canada, other Canadians have also been arrested in China. Canada has officially asked for clemency for Robert even though the chances are very slim. However, Techcapon will keep you posted.