CHINA: Canadian citizen indicted on charges of spying
Canada has expressed concern after a Canadian citizen was indicted in China on charges of spying and stealing state secrets. According to the Xinhua state news agency, Kevin Garratt was indicted in Dandong city and will be tried at the Dandong Intermediate People’s Court. Xinhua reported that the authorities found evidence suggesting Garratt accepted “tasks from Canadian espionage agencies to gather intelligence in China.”
In 2014, Garratt, his wife and two of their four children were out for dinner with friends when they were detained just days after the Canadian government blamed Chinese hackers for infiltrating computers at the National Research Council of Canada. Beijing vehemently denied the hacking claims. The Garratts, originally from Vancouver, had lived in China for more than 30 years, and opened a coffee shop in 2008. They also operated North Star Aid, the humanitarian arm of Five Stones Church in British Columbia, providing clothes, food, backpacks and flashlights to Chinese and North Koreans on both sides of the border. The senior pastor, Rich Kao, said the Garratts did not proselytise, as that was expressly against the group’s policy.