China releases two Michaels after 1,019 days, Trudeau announces

Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor

China has released Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor this evening after 1,019 days in prison. The "two Michaels" landed in Calgary early Saturday.

Their imprisonment on espionage charges has been seen as retaliation by China for Canada's house detention, on request from the U.S. pending a now dropped extradition request, of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou because of allegations surrounding that Chinese technology company's dealings with Iran. A US plea bargain deal with Huawei’s executive was completed earlier today.

China has denied the imprisonment of the two Michaels and the detention of Meng were connected. But the Canadians' release took place just after the U.S. Justice Department allowed Meng to take part in a deferred prosecution agreement, end her house arrest and leave Canada. Reports say that she left Canada for China Friday night.

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