SHENYANG, JAN 14 — Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, a Canadian national convicted of smuggling over 222 kg of methamphetamines, was sentenced to death on Monday at the Dalian Intermediate People’s Court in northeast China’s Liaoning Province.
All of his assets will also be confiscated, said a statement issued by the court.
The court discovered that in October 2014, a person surnamed Xu was hired by Schellenberg’s accomplices as a translator, before receiving 20 tonnes of plastic granules containing 222 bags of methamphetamines from south China’s Guangdong Province.
On Nov. 19, Schellenberg met with Xu in Dalian and made preparations to smuggle the drugs to Australia.
On Nov. 29, Xu reported the case to the police.
Aware of the report, Schellenberg left for Dalian Airport on Dec. 1 attempting to flee to Thailand. At 1 p.m., he was arrested by police when the plane stopped in Guangzhou.
It was later verified that the 222 seized bags of methamphetamines weighed 222.035 kg.
On Nov. 20, 2018, Schellenberg was sentenced to 15 years in jail by the Dalian Intermediate People’s Court, ordered to pay 150,000 yuan (22,174 U.S. dollars) and bound for deportation. He appealed afterward.
On Dec. 29, the Liaoning Provincial Higher People’s Court remanded the case for retrial, saying the original sentence was inappropriate in convicting Schellenberg as an accessory criminal with an attempted crime. The Dalian People’s Procuratorate later provided more evidence related to the case.
At the court, prosecutors offered photo exhibits, documentary evidence, on-the-spot written evidence, verification of the drugs, confessions by defendants in related cases, quotes by witnesses and other evidence. Xu appeared in court as a witness.
The court determined that Schellenberg, along with others, took part in organized international drug smuggling, which is a crime punishable by death in China. It said the criminal facts presented by the prosecutors were clear, and the evidence was verified and sufficient.
The court ruled that Schellenberg was the prime culprit with a consummated crime, and sentenced him to death based on the facts, nature, circumstances and severe social damage of the crime in accordance with the Criminal Law of China.
While announcing the judgment, the presiding judge informed the defendant of his right to appeal the case to the Liaoning Provincial Higher People’s Court within 10 days from the second day after receiving the written judgment.
During the trial, the defendant’s rights to defense and translation were protected by the court, according to the court statement.
In accordance with the rules, before the trial, the court informed the Canadian Embassy in China of the session, which had officials present at the court on Monday.
Over 50 people including members of the public and journalists from home and abroad attended the trial and announcement of the judgment. – XINHUA