VANCOUVER | A Huawei executive arrested in Canada and threatened with extradition to the United States on Tuesday asked a Vancouver court for a relaxation of her bail conditions, citing fears related to the coronavirus pandemic.
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Her husband Liu Wiaozong explained that his wife, financial director of the Chinese telecoms giant, was afraid of catching COVID-19 in contact with security agents who accompany her on all her trips.
“I think my wife is at increased risk with COVID-19,” especially because she suffered from thyroid cancer and suffers from high blood pressure, he explained. When she moves outside, “I notice that in general there are three (security guards) who accompany my wife in the vehicle (…) and that can be different people every day”.
Ms. Meng was arrested in early December 2018 at Vancouver airport at the request of the United States who want to try her for bank fraud. She had been released on bail and has since been living under high surveillance, with a nighttime curfew, electronic ankle bracelet, limited outings and always accompanied by security guards, in her luxurious Vancouver home.
Ms. Meng’s attorneys have requested that their client be allowed out of her home without being accompanied by security guards from a private company, Lions Gate Risk Management Group, mandated by the court.
The representative of the Canadian government, opposed to any relaxation, for his part wondered if the couple were “really worried” about their health as they organized a private dinner with 14 diners at Christmas in a restaurant in the city, in apparent violation of the instructions of the health authorities.
“Are you aware that a gathering of more than six people for socializing reasons is not approved by the anti-COVID guidelines in British Columbia,” asked Crown representative John Gibb-Carsley.
Ms Meng also posed, without a mask, for a group photo in court in May 2020, shortly before a court ruling she hoped would be in her favor.
Her husband also revealed that on this occasion, the Chinese consulate had chartered a Boeing 777 so that Ms. Meng could fly from Vancouver to China if the court ruled in her favor, which was not the case.
Ms. Meng’s arrest sparked an unprecedented diplomatic crisis between Canada and China. A few days later, Beijing arrested two Canadians accused of espionage and detained since then.