Michael Kovrig, Michael Spavor return to Canada after release from China

Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have landed safely back in Canada after spending over 1,000 days in detention in China.

The two men landed in Calgary on Saturday morning, Global News has confirmed.

Read more: Could release of 2 Michaels, Meng Wanzhou thaw Canada-China relations? Experts are mixed

Trudeau announced on Friday night that the two men had been released and were on their back having boarded a plane with Canada’s ambassador to China Dominic Barton.

Trudeau made the announcement hours after Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was released from house arrest in Vancouver and allowed to return home to China after securing a deal to drop U.S. charges against her.

As part of the new deferred prosecution agreement, Meng plead not guilty to charges that she committed fraud by misleading the HSBC bank about the company’s business dealings in Iran.

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Click to play video: 'China releases ‘Two Michaels’ just hours after Meng Wanzhou plea deal' China releases ‘Two Michaels’ just hours after Meng Wanzhou plea deal

China releases ‘Two Michaels’ just hours after Meng Wanzhou plea deal

Kovrig, a former diplomat, and businessman Spavor were detained in China days after Meng was arrested at Vancouver’s airport in December 2018 on behalf of the United States.

The two men were convicted on espionage charges in separate trials earlier this year. Spavor was later sentenced to 11 years in prison, while a sentence had yet to be issued for Kovrig.

Canada has repeatedly demanded China release the pair, saying they were arbitrarily detained on bogus charges.

This is a breaking news story. More to follow…

— with files from Global News’ Sean Boynton

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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