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Canadian faces retrial in China drug case next week

AFP  |  Beijing 

A Canadian man who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for drug smuggling in will face a retrial on Monday, which could hand him a harsher sentence and further strain ties between and

In a statement posted on its website, the northeastern Intermediate People's Court said Thursday that Robert Lloyd Schellenberg's new trial is scheduled for 8:00 am (0000 GMT) on January 14, but gave no further details.

exercises a zero-tolerance policy towards drug trafficking, and has handed death sentences to foreigners found guilty of smuggling large quantities of illicit drugs.

The case comes as and remain embroiled in a diplomatic row triggered by Canada's December 1 arrest of a from Chinese wanted in the

In what observers see as an act of retaliation, later detained two Canadians -- a former -- on suspicion of engaging in activities that "endanger" national security.

In a previous ruling in November, Schellenberg was sentenced to 15 years in prison and a 150,000 yuan (USD 22,000) forfeiture.

The high court in northeastern province, which presided over Schellenberg's appeal attempt last December, called the sentencing "obviously inappropriate" given the severity of his crimes.

Schellenberg played "an important role" in drug smuggling and was potentially involved in international organised drug trafficking activities, it said.

Other foreigners have been executed for such crimes.

In 2014, a Japanese national sentenced in city in northeastern province was put to death for drug offences, according to diplomats and

China also sentenced a Filipina drug trafficker to death in 2013, according to the Philippine foreign department, ignoring Manila's request to spare her life.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 10 2019. 12:15 IST