Trudeau criticized the closed-door trial of a Canadian in China.

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source: reuters

Canada's prime minister described the secret trial as "completely unacceptable." Trudeau criticized the closed-door trial of a Canadian in China.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lashed out at Beijing on Friday after the trial in China of his compatriot Michael Spavor on espionage charges was held in secret, without a verdict announced.

Completely unacceptable," said Trudeau, from Ottawa, where a live press conference was scheduled to update Canadians on the COVID-19 situation.

While the trial was taking place, diplomats from several countries (the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Australia, Sweden, and Germany) expressed their solidarity with Canada. They stood in front of the Chinese court.

A Canadian official knocked on the courthouse door but was denied entry.

Jim Nickel said We are saddened by the lack of admittance and the lack of clarity, charge d'affaires at the Canadian embassy in China.

Canadian officials were also not allowed to have contact with Spavor. The last time was in early February.

The other Canadian, Michael Kovrig, who also faces espionage charges, will be tried on Monday.

The Americans expressed their unreserved support for Canadians: "We stand shoulder to shoulder with Canada to demand their immediate release, and We condemn the absence of minimum procedural security in arbitrary custody for two years, said an American embassy in China.

At Friday's press conference, Trudeau said that the "top priority is to secure his release."

As they are often known, the two Michaels were detained by the Chinese government on December 10, 2018. A week after, in response to an extradition treaty request from Americans, Canada detained the chief financial officer of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou.

Wanzhou was arrested at a Vancouver airport while changing flights. The Americans wanted her to be shipped to the United States, where Meng was accused of violating US sanctions against Iran.

The Chinese government lashed out at the move and demanded his immediate release, but Canadian officials refused to do so. Korvig and Spavor's incarceration was widely seen as retaliation for Meng's arrest. She is out on bail as her extradition hearings continue in a Vancouver court.