China’s official news agency says a Canadian who was detained more than a year ago has been indicted of spying for Canada and stealing Chinese state secrets.
Xinhua says Kevin Garratt was indicted by prosecutors in Dandong city, near China’s border with North Korea, where the former Vancouver man and his wife ran a popular coffee shop and conducted Christian aid work.
Garratt and his wife Julia — who have lived in China for 30 years — were arrested in August 2014. Julia was released on bail in February 2015.
The Xinhua report says that during an investigation Chinese authorities found evidence that implicates Garratt in accepting tasks from “Canadian espionage agencies to gather intelligence in China.”
Their son, Simeon Garratt, who lives in Vancouver, has denied his parents were involved in espionage.
The accusations against the couple in August 2014 came about a week after Canada accused a China-sponsored hacker of infiltrating Canada’s National Research Council, the country’s top research and development organization.