B.C. judges approves release of video, affidavits ahead of Huawei exec’s trial

Meng Wanzhou’s extradition trial is set to begin in January

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou who is out on bail and remains under partial house arrest after she was detained Dec. 1 at the behest of American authorities, smiles as she leaves her home to attend a court appearance in Vancouver, on Wednesday May 8, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A senior B.C. Supreme Court judge has agreed with what she calls a “somewhat unusual” request to provide documents and a video directly to media ahead of an extradition hearing for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes has told a brief hearing she agrees with both the defence and Crown that the interests of justice are best served by transparency in the high-profile case.

The materials in question include a memorandum of argument, three affidavits and video footage from Vancouver’s airport, where Meng was arrested last December at the behest of the United States.

The U.S. is seeking Meng’s extradition on fraud charges, but both she and Huawei have denied any wrongdoing.

The materials discussed today are exhibits her defence team plans to use as evidence in its request for access to further documentation during an eight-day disclosure hearing scheduled to begin Sept. 23.

Defence lawyers plan to argue Meng’s arrest was unlawful but have previously said they want access to audio and are requesting other material through freedom of information requests.

The court’s approval today follows a request from Holmes in March that the defence and Crown work together to find ways to lessen the burden that media attention has put on staff in the court registry.

Typically, media would apply through the registry for access to materials once they are registered as exhibits.

“It is somewhat unusual to provide the media copies of court material the instant they are filed, even though it will be weeks before the other party responds and the hearing takes place,” Holmes says.

“However, as counsel have noted, this case has attracted a very high degree of public interest and I agree with counsels’ assessment … that the interests of justice are best served by transparency in this instance,” she says.

The U.S. Department of Justice has laid charges of conspiracy, fraud and obstruction against Huawei and Meng, who is the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei.

Meng’s extradition trial is set to begin Jan. 20, more than a year after she was taken into custody.

She has been free on bail and is living in one of her multimillion-dollar homes in Vancouver while wearing an electronic tracking device and being monitored by a security company.

READ MORE: RCMP, CBSA deny searching Meng Wanzhou’s phones and other devices

Her arrest angered China and entangled Canada in a diplomatic crisis with the Asian superpower.

In the days after Meng’s arrest, Chinese authorities detained two Canadians on allegations of espionage.

The Trudeau government has repeatedly insisted Meng will be dealt with fairly and transparently by an independent judiciary.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Four rock supergroups to play Abbotsford Centre this summer

Big Wreck, Headstones, Moist and The Tea Party perform on June 27

VIDEO: California’s Rolling Hills Huskies win Abbotsford’s Snowball Classic

Huskies capture first-ever Snowball crown with 75-69 win over Burnaby South Rebels

Fire breaks out at Mission wharf

Crews extinguished blaze that broke out along Fraser River on Monday

PHOTOS: Spectacular ice formations on Sumas Mountain in Abbotsford

Ice falls photographed during Fraser Valley deep freeze

VIDEO: Abbotsford fire crews battle house fire

Home on Osprey Drive’s roof catches ablaze on Saturday night

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

Convicted Fraser Valley con man facing 39 charges in Vancouver area

Donald Quinnell got four years prison in 2015, again facing fraud, theft, stolen credit card charges

Police seize nearly 50 kilos of drugs in Surrey

Police say this has taken perhaps millions of deadly doses of fentanyl and other drugs off the streets

Young child seriously injured in suspected drunk driving crash in Delta

“This needs to stop,” says Insp. Ciaran Feenan, head of the Delta Police Department’s patrol section

Elderly man in serious condition after being hit by bus in Burnaby

RCMP believe man, 82, was not at a crosswalk at the time

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Most Read