Huawei: Meng Wanzhou back in court

Vancouver | An executive from Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, arrested in Canada at the request of the United States, returns to a Vancouver court on Monday to denounce the conditions of her arrest at the end of 2018 and demand an end to the extradition procedure against her.

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested during a stopover in Vancouver on December 1, 2018, after US authorities accused him of circumventing US sanctions against Iran.

Ms Meng is charged with fraud for lying to HSBC bank about the relationship between Huawei and Skycom, a subsidiary that sold telecom equipment to Iran, in a presentation in 2013, exposing the bank to US sanctions .

Ms. Meng’s defense will once again try to convince the judge that their client’s rights have been violated, after she was questioned for three hours by Canadian customs officials without knowing what was being held against her before be officially arrested.

The lawyers also denounce the seizure of his electronic devices, including his phone and laptop, which were transmitted to the US FBI, which they believe constitutes a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Ms Meng “alleges a conspiracy by US and Canadian law enforcement agencies to compel the applicant to provide evidence for the benefit of the United States, in violation of her Charter rights”, according to documents of justice.

Members of the federal police and Canadian customs services are to be called to testify during this new week of hearings.

Lawyers for the Chinese national have previously defended allegations of abuse of process to seek access to secret documents they say prove the existence of a conspiracy between the FBI and Canadian authorities. Such a plot, if proven, could result in the annulment of the extradition procedure.

Unprecedented crisis

The justice had already handed over piles of documents to the defense, most of which were redacted.

Lawyers have also requested in previous hearings access to reports, emails and notes written by Canadian intelligence agents. They were also denied that petition before the Federal Court in Ottawa in August.

“The Attorney General of Canada does not believe that there was any conspiracy to deprive Ms. Meng of her rights,” replied the representative of the Department of Justice, Robert Frater.

The arrest of Meng Wanzhou, who has since lived under house arrest in Vancouver, sparked an unprecedented diplomatic crisis between Ottawa and Beijing.

A few days after his arrest, ex-Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and his compatriot, consultant Michael Spavor, were arrested in China, before being charged with espionage in mid-June.

Their detention is widely viewed in the West as a retaliatory measure.

Further preliminary hearings are scheduled for next month and early 2021. Meng Wanzhou’s extradition hearing is scheduled for April 26-30, but due to the many appeal possibilities, the proceedings could take several years according to experts.

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