“These allegations are politically motivated and completely unfounded,” Pompeo said. “The United States and Canada are urging Beijing to release the two men immediately and to refrain from using these unjustified detentions to force Canada to withdraw.”
U.S. prosecutors want Mann to stand trial on several charges, including bank fraud and breach of US sanctions against Iran.
Late last month, a Canadian judge ruled that the extradition case could proceed with what Chinese officials in the country called a “serious political incident.”
Within weeks, new charges were filed against Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat and NGO worker, and Spavor, who set up a North Korean travel company.
China’s legal system is offered to the ruling Communist Party and is known for its extremely high sentencing rate.
On Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zao Lijian said the evidence against the two Canadians was “consistent” and “the facts are clear”.
Zao denied reports that the two men did not have access to consular assistance, saying the visits were halted due to the coronation pandemic.
“In both cases, they receive consular visits once a month for exactly 30 minutes, with someone there watching the whole discussion,” he said. “These are mainly used to give them news about their family, and to give them books and other reading material. It’s very difficult for them, they wait and have no idea when and how they will be released.”
In a statement, Pompeo said Washington echoed “Canada’s request for immediate consular access to its two citizens,” according to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, as China has banned access for almost six months and The situation of the Canadians is unknown. “
“Europe is facing a challenge in China, as are the United States, and so are our friends from South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia,” Pompeo said.