Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, two Canadians detained in China since December 2018 and accused of espionage, are on their way home, Canada's prime minister announced on Friday.
The two were detained days after the arrest in Canada of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese tech giant Huawei, who was also freed by Canada and on her way back to China on Friday. She reached a deal with United States prosecutors who had accused her of bank fraud to evade sanctions imposed by Washington on Iran.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in a press conference in Ottawa late Friday that the "two Michaels," as they are popularly known in the country, were released by the Chinese authorities and were already on their way to Canada.
"For the past 1,000 days, they have shown strength, perseverance, resilience and grace," Trudeau said, adding that the men had been through "an unbelievably difficult ordeal."
Although the plane carrying the two Michaels departed from China for Canada around 7.30 pm Ottawa time on Friday, the prime minister only reported their release 12 minutes after the aircraft had left Chinese airspace. They are due to arrive in Canada early on Saturday.