Huawei's Financial Director Demands To Stop Hearing About Her Extradition To The US
Lawyers for the Chinese company Huawei's financial Director Meng Wanzhou filed a petition on her behalf to the Supreme court of the Canadian province of British Columbia to stop the extradition hearing in the United States because Washington used political pressure on Canadian justice and manipulated the facts of the case, and Ottawa may have a political interest in the process.
As the defense of Meng Wanzhou insists, the impartiality of the court could be violated as a result of comments by US President Donald Trump that he could interfere in the case of Huawei's Financial Director. In particular, the head of the White House in December 2018 promised to do exactly this, if it is necessary to reach an agreement with China in the negotiations on a trade deal.
According to defense lawyers, the materials submitted by the United States to the Canadian justice system regarding Meng Wanzhou do not contain several important details that may indicate her innocence. In particular, one of the main charges against Huawei's financial Director relates to negotiations with the British Bank HSBC in 2013, when it allegedly withheld information about cooperation with the Hong Kong company Skycom, which worked in Iran. As a result, HSBC, as well as some other credit institutions, unknowingly became involved in operations that are subject to US sanctions. Meanwhile, according to the defense, in the presentation used in 2013, Skycom's ties with Iran were clearly outlined, and HSBC knew about them. Thus, there is no reason to accuse Meng Wanzhou of lying and fraud.
Finally, the request to suspend the extradition hearing indicates that Canada also has a political interest in the case, which calls into question the objectivity of the court. The country's authorities are seeking the release from China of two of its citizens detained on espionage charges shortly after the case against Meng Wanzhou began in 2018. Earlier, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau admitted that he asked Trump to postpone the conclusion of a trade deal with China until the situation with the detained Canadians and Meng Wanzhou is resolved. Now her defense cites the words of the head of government as confirmation of political interest in the case of the country's authorities.
In the United States, Huawei, its subsidiaries, and its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou have been charged with 23 counts, including industrial espionage and violating US sanctions against Iran. Meng Wanzhou was detained by Canadian law enforcement agencies on December 1, 2018, at Vancouver airport while changing flights on an extradition request from the Prosecutor's office for the Eastern District of New York and has since been living under law enforcement surveillance at her husband's Vancouver home. Her extradition hearing to the United States is expected to end in early 2021.