Robert Schellenberg verdict pronouncement

Backgrounder

  • In January 2019, following a retrial, Mr. Robert Schellenberg’s initial 15-year verdict on drug smuggling charges was overturned and a death sentence was issued. Mr. Schellenberg appealed the executable death sentence and an appeal hearing took place on May 9, 2019. 
  • On August 10, 2021 the Liaoning High Court pronounced a decision on Mr. Schellenberg’s appeal. Ambassador Dominic Barton and consular officials, as well as Mr. Schellenberg’s lawyer attended the verdict pronouncement in person in Shenyang. The proceedings were held virtually and Mr. Schellenberg was in the detention centre in Dalian.
  • Upon review of the appeal the court could have: 1) reduced the sentence; 2) ordered a retrial; or 3) upheld the death sentence.
  • Now that the court upheld the death penalty sentence, the next and final step in the Chinese legal process is a mandatory review by the Supreme People’s Court.
  • There is no timeline for the issuance of a final verdict from the Supreme People’s Court.
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