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China's Huawei executive seeks bail in U.S. extradition case

Stock MarketsDec 10, 2018 06:21PM ET
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© Reuters. A man holds a sign outside of the B.C. Supreme Court bail hearing of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is being held on an extradition warrant in Vancouver

By Julie Gordon

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - A Canadian provincial court on Monday weighed whether to grant bail to a top executive of one of the world's biggest telecommunications companies, Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL], while she awaits a ruling on extradition to the United States.

U.S. prosecutors want Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou to be extradited to face accusations she misled multinational banks about Huawei's control of a company operating in Iran, putting the banks at risk of violating U.S. sanctions which would incur severe penalties, court documents said.

Meng's lawyers told the court high-tech surveillance devices would ensure their client does not flee and proposed a C$15 million ($11.3 million) bail guarantee for her release.

Meng's arrest has roiled markets over fears it would exacerbate tensions between the United States and China, already at a high over tariffs. The two sides have agreed to trade negotiations that must be concluded by March 1.

Beijing has demanded Meng's immediate release and threatened "consequences" for Canada. But both Chinese and U.S. officials appear to be avoiding linking her arrest to the trade dispute.

Meng, the 46-year-old daughter of the founder of Huawei, was arrested on Dec. 1 as she was changing planes in Vancouver. In a sworn affidavit, she said she is innocent and will contest the allegations against her at trial if she is surrendered to the United States.

Meng's lawyers argue that while she awaits the extradition ruling, she should be allowed to live in one of her two multi-million-dollar Vancouver homes and travel through the area as long as she is accompanied at all times by drivers and minders from a security firm. She would also wear a global positioning system (GPS) bracelet at all times, her lawyers said.

Of the C$15 million guarantee, C$14 million would be in equity and C$1 million in cash, they said.

At one point the judge asked why Meng had avoided travel to the United States since 2017 if not to avoid arrest. Her lawyer David Martin cited a "hostile" climate toward Huawei in the United States.

"I ask the court to ask itself, what motive could she possibly have to flee?" Martin said, arguing the evidence against her was not overwhelming.

"If she were to flee, or breach order in any way ... it doesn't overstate things to say she would embarrass China itself."

Meng appeared confident in court on Monday, smiling and taking her lawyer's arm. She has argued she needs to be released because she has severe hypertension and fears for her health.

Huawei is the world's largest supplier of telecommunications network equipment and second-biggest maker of smartphones, with revenue of about $92 billion last year. Unlike other big Chinese technology firms, it does much of its business overseas.

U.S. officials allege Huawei was trying to use the banks to move money out of Iran. Companies are barred from using the U.S. financial system to funnel goods and services to sanctioned entities.

Huawei and its lawyers have said the company operates in strict compliance with applicable laws, regulations and sanctions of the United States and other parties.

China's Huawei executive seeks bail in U.S. extradition case
 

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gary leibowitz
gary leibowitz Dec 10, 2018 4:46PM ET
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Lunatic politicians in USA are not only gutless immoral and unethical they are down right stupid and have no self preservation mechanism. Imagine allowing Trump the Con man and madman to continue to destroy any sense of decency or humanity we once were thought to hold.  We just put Canada, once again the dog that gets kicked around by trump, to be front and center in a despite between China and USA.  China, the level headed long term strategists will no longer stay silent. Expect tensions to go thru the roof as the GOP sits on their hands while nukes are being armed.  What a world we live in. Me, i stated 2 years ago this would happen and frankly it didn't take a genius to understand how unstable trump is.
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Paul Choi
Paul Choi Dec 10, 2018 4:40PM ET
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Also, who else is sick and tired of the chinese government always saving face saying that they follow all the applicable laws. They dont be in the applicability of any laws besides those that are at their own convenience. Get this wheel going.
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Paul Choi
Paul Choi Dec 10, 2018 4:39PM ET
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High tech devices that ensure she doesnt flee? Are those devices made in China? If Canada is smart, they will make sure she is extradited to the US. They made the mistake of taking her into custody in the first place whether the US requested it ir not. If shes granted bail, look for those “high tech devices” to help her go back home.
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Honkee Doree
Honkee Doree Dec 10, 2018 4:39PM ET
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Hahahahahahhah funny
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Atleast Max
AtleastZero Dec 10, 2018 9:02AM ET
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ms meng must be released and set free. Canada and us should deal with Chinese govt as it's not a crime in HK or China to sell to Iran.
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michael hammer
michael hammer Dec 10, 2018 9:02AM ET
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They were selling US tech, not Chinese tech.
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Rajan Ranga
Rajan Ranga Dec 10, 2018 5:53AM ET
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it really shows that Huawei is screwing apple , hurting US , of course US has a soft belly despite its hard posturing
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Monkey Bucket
Monkey Bucket Dec 10, 2018 5:03AM ET
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What has China ever done to anyone ever? For its size, China is the Arctic penguin of super powers. The US has been at war in some way or another for the past 200 years. Americans own guns the same way most families around the world own vacuum cleaners.
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Monkey Bucket
Monkey Bucket Dec 10, 2018 5:03AM ET
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We don't know how to not fight. And that doesn't necessarily mean we're a threat to any one, but we're about the toughest thing this planet will ever see, ever. And Canada is basically the 51'st state. We just haven't gotten around to rearranging the stars on the flag yet.
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David Wong
David Wong Dec 10, 2018 2:03AM ET
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Canada better hurry up and release or pay a heavy consequence from China. China doesn't play around like that.
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Monkey Bucket
Monkey Bucket Dec 10, 2018 2:03AM ET
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Buahahaha
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michael hammer
michael hammer Dec 10, 2018 2:03AM ET
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Canada knows who will win in a trade war that's why they're falling in line. You just have heavy investments in Chinese stocks which is the only reason you are saying this. Your motives are quite clear to everyone here.
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Cissy Gu
Cissy Gu Dec 10, 2018 2:03AM ET
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michael hammer  yes. on that day U.S won the trade war, like they would give a slice to Canada...
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