Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations


Friday, 19 June 2020

China charges Canadian citizens with espionage

Two Canadian citizens arrested shortly after Canada detained Huawei’s CFO in December 2018 have been charged with espionage in China, according to reports.

China detained former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor following Canada’s arrest of the CFO of Chinese telecoms company Huawei on behalf of the US over allegations of sanctions violations and fraud.

CFO Meng Wanzhou denies wrongdoing and is currently battling her potential extradition to the US.

Chinese authorities reportedly insist that the arrests of Kovrig and Spavor have nothing to do with the Meng case, but experts and diplomats say the country is trying to pressure Canada to release her.

The charges mean that a trial against the two Canadians can proceed.

Wirecard CEO resigns in wake of missing €1.9 billion

German payments company Wirecard announced on 19 June that CEO Markus Braun has resigned with immediate effect, a day after the company announced that it is unable to account for €1.9 billion in its accounts.

The company said in an emailed statement that James Freis, who was appointed to Wirecard’s management board a day earlier, has taken over as acting CEO.

A day before his resignation, Braun said in a video posted on the company’s website that “Wirecard is the aggrieved party in a case of fraud of considerable proportions”.

Italian prosecutors appeal against Saipem acquittal

Prosecutors in Milan are appealing against a court’s decision to acquit Eni subsidiary Saipem in an Algerian bribery case, according to Reuters.

In January, an Italian court of appeals overturned Saipem’s 2018 conviction for allegedly paying approximately €198 million in bribes to win €8 billion worth of contracts from Algerian state-owned company Sonatrach.

An Italian court acquitted Eni in the same matter in January 2018. 

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