A Canadian man who was arrested and jailed two years ago in China on charges of spying and stealing intelligence was released on Tuesday.
According to a statement released by Garratt’s family, he was released and deported after a court hearing, the details of which are unclear. He arrived in Canada on Thursday.
“The Garratt family thanks everyone for their thoughts and prayers, and also thanks the many individuals who worked to secure Kevin’s release,” the family stated. “Please respect the family’s privacy in this time of transition. We will be releasing more information in the coming weeks.”
Garratt and his wife, Julia, were known to be devout Christians and to have run a cafe in Dandong to send food to North Korea.
“We’re trying to reach North Korea with God, with Jesus, and with practical assistance,” Kevin Garratt said in a sermon that was previously posted online but has since been taken down, according to the New York Times.
The couple, who had lived in China since 1984, was arrested in August of 2014, but Julia Garratt was released on bail in February of 2015.
The foreign minister of Canada, Stephane Dion, denied that Canada had made concessions to secure the release of Garratt, according to a Reuters report.