Huawei CFO arrives at Canada court for witness testimony in U.S. extradition case

In this news, we discuss the Huawei CFO arrives at Canada court for witness testimony in U.S. extradition case.

VANCOUVER / TORONTO (Reuters) – Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou arrived in a Canadian courtroom on Monday for the first of five days of testimony, the final round of hearings as Canada looks to the extradite to the United States for bank fraud.

The five days of hearings will focus on allegations of abuse of process committed by Canadian and US authorities during Meng’s arrest in December 2018 at Vancouver International Airport.

Meng, 48, is accused by the United States of bank fraud for allegedly deceiving HSBC about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran, which caused the bank to violate U.S. sanctions laws.

She denies the charges and is fighting extradition from house arrest to Vancouver.

Meng’s attorneys argued that Canadian authorities had improperly communicated with their US counterparts, including sharing credentials on his electronic devices.

Canada denied this and provided affidavits to this effect from members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) who were involved in Meng’s arrest.

Meng arrived at the British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver wearing a shimmering black cardigan, a blue knitted top and a gray skirt, accompanied by her translator.

Much of this week’s cross-examinations will include Meng’s team which will focus on the alleged involvement of U.S. officials in his arrest, Canada’s inappropriate omissions or disclosures, and discrepancies between the affidavits of officers from the RCMP and emails the Department of Justice Canada was forced to disclose, a familiar source. with Huawei’s strategy said. The source was not authorized to speak publicly.

Arguments for abuse of process are scheduled from February 16 to March 5, 2021, the Justice Department said.

Calling living witnesses in an extradition case is “very, very unusual,” said Leo Adler, a Toronto-based extradition lawyer, especially if both sides are able to cross-examine. Adler is not involved in the case.

Meng’s team was able to do this based on the documents released to them, Adler said, another aspect that is rare in extradition cases.

“Normally you don’t get much by way of disclosure, much less often, much less often, do you have the right to cross-examine witnesses,” Adler said.

Meng requested the disclosure of documents, including emails between Canadian and US authorities, to prove that abuse of process took place.

The strategy has had some success. At the end of 2019, BC Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes ruled that Canada must release a multitude of documents to Meng’s lawyers.

Since then, Meng has largely been barred from accessing more documents as federal and provincial judges have agreed with the Canadian government that their surrender could threaten national security and attorney-client privilege.

Meng’s case, which is expected to last for years, has strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing. Shortly after his detention, China arrested Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, accusing them of espionage.

Hearings are scheduled to end in April 2021.

Reporting by Tessa Vikander in Vancouver and Moira Warburton in Toronto; Editing by Denny Thomas, Daniel Wallis and Nick Zieminski

Original © Thomson Reuters

Originally posted 2020-10-26 10:16:10.

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