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Huawei CFO lawyers seek to add more evidence contesting U.S. extradition

Stock MarketsMar 15, 2021 05:35PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng leaves her home to attend a court hearing in Vancouver

By Moira Warburton and Sarah Berman

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou's legal team sought to admit more evidence contesting the U.S. government's account of her fraud case in a Canadian court on Monday, promising it was the final attempt days after the judge threw out similar evidence.

Meng, 49, was arrested in December 2018 at Vancouver International Airport on a U.S. warrant for allegedly misleading HBSC about Huawei's business dealings in Iran and causing the bank to violate U.S. sanctions.

She has since been fighting the case from under house arrest in Vancouver and has said she is innocent.

After two years of legal proceedings, Meng's case now enters the final stretch leading up to a decision from Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes in British Columbia's Supreme Court on whether to extradite her, pending approval from the federal minister of justice.

On Monday defence lawyer Frank Addario argued that a sworn statement from a Huawei accountant would show that in its request to extradite Meng, the United States misrepresented the risk HSBC allegedly incurred, proving that the requesting state’s record of the case is "demonstrably unreliable."

Canadian prosecutor Robert Frater said the U.S. record of the case does not allege the bank actually lost money, and that the government did not need to show any financial loss occurred to prove the bank was exposed to risk.

In a ruling released on Friday Holmes threw out a similar evidence request, ruling that testimony from bank employees would be more appropriately submitted at trial, not an extradition hearing.

Beginning Wednesday, the court will hear arguments regarding allegations that Canadian and U.S. authorities committed legal missteps during Meng's initial questioning and arrest, which her lawyers say should invalidate her extradition.

Witness testimony on these allegations concluded in December 2020.

Meng's team has previously argued that the extradition should be rejected due to the alleged political interference by then-U.S. President Donald Trump in her case.

Trump told Reuters in December 2018 that he would intervene in the case if it would serve national security interests or help close a trade deal with China.

Canadian prosecutors representing the federal government assert that appropriate processes were followed. They have argued that now that Trump is no longer president his comments are moot, and that their influence is best judged by a politician, not a judge.

The case has caused a frost in relations between Ottawa and Beijing. Shortly after Meng's arrest, China detained two Canadians - Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig - on espionage charges, which Canada has called retaliation.

Hearings are scheduled to finish in May, but the potential for appeals from either side means the case could drag on for years.

Huawei CFO lawyers seek to add more evidence contesting U.S. extradition
 

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Comments (3)
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Ad Cline Mar 16, 2021 2:11AM ET
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menu is a typical corrupt chinese elitist. who thinks she is above the law. she needs some time behind bars to teach her and others in China that they will be arrested and prosecuted when they are caught breaking the law.
Jason Zou
Jason Zou Mar 15, 2021 9:33PM ET
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Meng is a hostage kidnapped by Canada, being complicit with US.
Franco Dominguez
Franco Dominguez Mar 15, 2021 8:02PM ET
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canada and us is the same country
 
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