Michael Spavor’s lawyer says legal dispute with Ottawa ‘resolved’ – National

The lawyer for Michael Spavor, one of two Canadians detained and incarcerated by China for nearly three years, says the legal conflict between his client and the federal government is now “resolved.”

Attorney John K. Phillips did not provide further details in a statement to Global News, but it comes just four months after the Globe and Mail reported that federal lawyers were in compensation talks with Spavor and Michael Kovrig for their imprisonment in China.

The Globe and Mail reported Wednesday, citing a source not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, that a multimillion-dollar settlement had been reached with Spavor, worth about $6 million.

Global News has not independently confirmed that a settlement has been reached or any potential assessment.

Click to play video: “Canada to pay settlements to both Michaels, report says”

Canada to pay compensation to both Michaels, report says

Asked if there was an agreement, Global Affairs Canada would not confirm a settlement, saying only that the detention of the two Michaels was “unjust and unacceptable.”

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A spokesperson said that for confidentiality reasons no further information could be released.

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Earlier in November 2023, Kovrig told Global News that he denied allegations that he conducted secret intelligence work that led to his and Spavor’s arrest.

His comments came after reporting in the Globe that Spavor was blaming Ottawa and Kovrig for his detention and seeking a multimillion-dollar settlement from Ottawa. Spavor alleged that he was arrested because he unwittingly provided Kovrig with intelligence about North Korea.

Kovrig told Global News that when he first saw the report, he was shocked and confused.

Global Affairs Canada responded to this Globe report by saying that “perpetuating the idea that Michael was involved in espionage only perpetuates a false narrative that they were detained by China.”

At the time, Spavor and his lawyers did not comment on the allegations made in the report.

Click to play video: “Canadian Michael Spavor accuses another prisoner of being responsible for his arrest in China, report says”

Canadian Michael Spavor accuses fellow inmate of being responsible for his arrest in China, report says

Spavor and Kovrig made international headlines in 2018 after both men were arrested by Beijing on widely condemned espionage charges.

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The federal government has insisted throughout their detention that the two men were arbitrarily detained following the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver at the request of the United States.

Two years after their detention, the Chinese government officially filed a complaint. Kovrig was accused of spying on state secrets and intelligence for other foreign countries, while Spavor was accused of spying on national secrets and disclosing those secrets outside China. Spavor was convicted by a Chinese court in August 2021 and sentenced to 11 years in prison. The same month, Kovrig’s trial ended without a verdict.

A month later, Meng’s extradition request was dropped, allowing her to return to China on September 24, 2021. Hours later, both Michaels were released.

with files from Jeff Semple of Global News and Reuters

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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