Huawei lawyers question if Canada border agent had reasonable grounds to issue CFO’s warrant


In this news, we discuss the Huawei lawyers question if Canada border agent had reasonable grounds to issue CFO’s warrant.

VANCOUVER (Reuters) – A border official who participated in the interrogation of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou said on Friday he did not have reasonable grounds to believe she should have been denied the entered Canada but believed the border agency’s mandate to detain her was still justified.

Huawei lawyers seek to prove in a Canadian court that the investigation conducted by the Canadian border agency two years ago at the Vancouver International Airport resulted in an abuse of process that should result in his extradition to the States- United.

Prosecutors and witnesses from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) countered that Meng’s investigation and arrest were following normal procedures.

Defense attorney Mona Duckett confronted CBSA officer Sowmith Katragadda on Friday about a document he signed, which included a statement that he had reasonable grounds to believe she should be refused entry to Canada and could therefore be arrested with an immigration warrant.

When asked if he had reasonable grounds, Katragadda replied, “At the time, no, I didn’t.”

He replied that he had not chosen the wording of the documents and that he believed that the immigration warrant was still justified.

CBSA officials have previously testified that they feared Meng would flee the country if the RCMP did not arrest her.

Meng, 48, was arrested for bank fraud in the United States, where she is accused of misrepresenting Huawei Technologies Co Ltd. [HWT.UL] relations with Iran, exposing one of its lenders, HSBC, to the risk of violating US trade sanctions.

She denied the charges and requested that her extradition be dismissed on the grounds, among other things, of alleged collusion between Canadian and American authorities.

In particular, Meng’s attorneys claimed that Canadian and U.S. authorities used the CBSA’s additional investigative powers to question Meng without a lawyer present.

CBSA officers testified that their investigation was not led by outside authorities and would have taken place regardless of the current arrest warrant.

Meng’s arrest sparked a diplomatic conflict between Ottawa and Beijing.

Reporting by Sarah Berman in Vancouver; Writing by Moira Warburton in Toronto; Edited by Denny Thomas, Lincoln Feast and Cynthia Osterman

Original © Thomson Reuters Corporation

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