Canada judge sides with Huawei CFO on some claims but does not dismiss U.S. extradition case

In this news, we discuss the Canada judge sides with Huawei CFO on some claims but does not dismiss U.S. extradition case.

VANCOUVER / TORONTO (Reuters) – A judge has blocked an attempt by the Attorney General of Canada to have parts of the arguments of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou dismissed in the case to extradite him to the United States, according to a decision made Thursday.

However, the judge sided with the attorney general in agreeing that Meng’s arguments were not strong enough to warrant an immediate dismissal of the case.

The ruling comes as a week-long testimony is pending before the BC Supreme Court in a different part of the same extradition case.

Meng’s claim that the United States has distorted evidence of alleged fraud in its official extradition request to Canada has an “air of reality,” Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes wrote in her decision dated 28. October.

She also agreed that Meng had the right to introduce additional evidence into the case, “to a limited extent.”

“Some of this evidence is realistically capable of challenging the reliability” of the United States’ extradition request, Holmes said.

Attorney General David Lametti’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Meng, 48, was arrested at Vancouver International Airport in December 2018 while on a layover to Mexico. Meng’s case is whether she misled HSBC about Huawei [HWT.UL] trade relations in Iran. The United States has argued that she was guilty of fraud for causing the bank to break sanctions against Iran.

Meng has said she is innocent and is fighting the charges in Vancouver, where she is under house arrest.

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Canada’s attempt to get part of Huawei CFO’s case against US extradition rejected

His arrest made diplomatic relations between Ottawa and Beijing difficult. Shortly after his detention, China arrested two Canadian citizens on charges of espionage.

POWERPOINT PRESENTATION

A PowerPoint presentation Meng gave to an HSBC banker in Hong Kong in 2013, showing Huawei’s relationship with Skycom Tech Co Ltd – a company that operated in Iran – has been cited by the United States as key evidence against it.

Holmes agreed with Meng that the US extradition request should have included certain PowerPoint statements that add “more precision” to Meng’s statements about Huawei’s business relationship with Skycom in Iran.

Holmes pointed to an example of a potential misrepresentation of evidence by the United States, noting that it did not include the phrase “‘Huawei'[s] engagement with Skycom is normal and controllable business cooperation, and that will not change in the future ”(emphasis added).”

“A similar statement is included earlier in the summary, but that statement omitted the word ‘controllable’, reading ‘Huawei’s engagement with Skycom is normal business cooperation,’” Holmes said.

Although Holmes agreed that Meng’s arguments were not strong enough to justify the immediate dismissal of the case, she said they “might be able to do so when considered in conjunction with the allegations of the first or second branch, ”referring to other allegations of abuse of process Meng put forward.

ROUTINE DISCUSSION

In witness testimony Thursday, a border official told the court that Meng’s imminent arrival at a Canadian airport two years ago meant discussions about how best to apprehend him must be halted.

Scott Kirkland, an officer with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), previously told the court he was concerned about allegations of civil rights violations if the agency intercepted and questioned Meng before his arrest by police Canadian.

But he didn’t bring up this concern with the others, in part because they had less than an hour before Meng landed to decide how to handle his interception.

“It was a rushed discussion,” Kirkland said.

Meng’s attorneys argued abuse of process occurred in the nearly three hours between the time the CBSA intercepted her and the RCMP arrested her, during which she had no legal representation. .

RCMP Constable Winston Yep, who arrested her, was the first witness to this week-long testimony. Yep insisted the RCMP stayed in their lane and did not order the CBSA to investigate Meng.

Canadian government prosecutors have attempted to prove that Meng’s arrest was in accordance with the book, and any breach of due process should not affect the validity of his extradition.

Meng’s extradition hearings are expected to end in April 2021, although the possibility of appeals means the case could drag on for years.

Reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto and Tessa Vikander in Vancouver; Additional reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Edited by Denny Thomas and Rosalba O’Brien

Original © Thomson Reuters Corporation

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