Huawei CFO’s lawyers plead ‘strategically designed’ US case
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) – Lawyers for a senior Huawei executive argued in a Canadian court on Wednesday that the United States had “strategically drawn” a deceptive record of the fraud case against it and acted “In bad faith” by presenting the reasons why she should be extradited.
Huawei Technologies chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who is the daughter of the company’s founder, was arrested at Vancouver Airport in 2018 at the behest of the United States, which accused her of fraud. His arrest infuriated Beijing, which views his case as a political step to prevent China’s rise to power.
The United States accuses the Chinese communications giant of using a Hong Kong shell company called Skycom to sell equipment to Iran in violation of US sanctions. He says Meng committed fraud by deceiving HSBC bank about the company’s business dealings in Iran.
Defense lawyer Mona Duckett said the United States had omitted facts, obscured the law and “inaccurately summarized documents to support a false story.”
The only recourse for the court is to dismiss the extradition request, Duckett said.
Meng attended the hearing and followed the proceedings through a translator.
Over the next three weeks, Association Chief Justice Heather Holmes will hear final arguments on whether Meng should be extradited to stand trial in the United States.
Holmes will likely not render his decision until later in the year. Whatever its decision, it will likely be appealed.
In earlier hearings, Meng’s lawyers argued that her extraction should be halted because officers from the Canada Border Security Agency detained and interrogated her without a lawyer, asked questions that benefited authorities. Americans, seized her electronic devices and placed them in special bags to prevent them from being wiped down, and forced her to give up access codes before her official arrest.
They also argued that then-President Donald Trump’s comments showed he hoped to use Meng’s arrest as a bargaining chip in trade talks with China.
Shortly after Meng’s arrest, China arrested Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig in apparent retaliation and charged them with espionage. Both remained in detention with limited access to Canadian consular officials.
Canadian consular officials had online visits with Kovrig on July 29 and Spavor on Tuesday, the Canadian Foreign Office said.
He said officials “continue to provide consular services” to the men and their families, but Canadian law has prevented further information from being disclosed.
“The Canadian government remains deeply concerned about the arbitrary detention by Chinese authorities of these two Canadians since December 2018 and continues to call for their immediate release,” the ministry said in an emailed statement.
Meng remains on bail in Vancouver and lives in a mansion.