AMERICAS ASIA EUROPE MIDDLE EAST AFRICA TURKEY

ARTS & CULTURE BUSINESS LIFE SPORTS

FOCAL POINT OFF THE GRID STORYTELLER

PERSPECTIVES RESEARCH CENTRE WORLD CITIZEN JOBS

1st stage of Huawei exec extradition hearing ends

  • 24 Jan 2020

This week's hearings dealt with the question of whether the US charges against Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei's founder, are crimes in Canada as well.

In this November 20, 2019, photo, customers shop at a Huawei store at a shopping mall in Beijing. ( AP Archive )

A Canadian judge said on Thursday she will announce her decision at a later date after she ended the first phase of an extradition hearing that will decide whether a top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei is sent to the United States.

This week's hearings dealt with the question of whether the US charges against Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei's founder, are crimes in Canada as well. Her lawyers argued the case is really about US sanctions against Iran, not a fraud case. They maintain since Canada does not have similar sanctions against Iran, no fraud occurred.

Canada arrested Huawei's chief financial officer in December 2018 at Vancouver's airport at the request of the US as she was changing flights.

The US Justice Department accuses Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment to Iran in violation of US sanctions. It says Meng, 47, committed fraud by misleading the HSBC bank about the company's business dealings in Iran.

On Thursday, Canadian Department of Justice lawyer Robert Frater told Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes that fraud is at the heart of the case and by lying to the bank, Meng put the bank at risk.

Frater said sanctions were the reason for the meeting with the bank, but it is the alleged misrepresentation that matters to the United States.

In his closing summation, defence lawyer Richard Peck reiterated the defence argument that sanctions, not fraud, are the essence of the case.

Homes said she would reserve her decision.

If the judge rules she finds that what Meng is charged with is not a crime in Canada, Meng will be free to leave Canada.

Meng, who is free on bail and living in one of the two Vancouver mansions she owns, waved to the public on the way in the courtroom.

The second phase of her extradition hearing, scheduled for June, will consider defence allegations that Canada Border Services, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the FBI violated Meng's rights while collecting evidence before she was actually arrested.

Related

Popular