Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou arrives home after a court appearance in Vancouver. (CP)

Prosecutor: Huawei defence turning US extradition into trial

The U.S. accuses Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company called Skycom to sell equipment to Iran

A Canadian prosecutor says by requesting the inclusion of additional evidence the defence team for a Chinese executive wanted in the United States is coming close to turning an extradition hearing into a trial.

Canada arrested the chief financial officer of Huawei at Vancouver’s airport in late 2018. The U.S. wants Meng Manzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, extradited to face fraud charges. Her arrest infuriated Beijing.

The U.S. accuses Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company called Skycom to sell equipment to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. It says Meng, 48, committed fraud by misleading the HSBC bank about the company’s business dealings in Iran.

Prosecutor Robert Frater said evidence that establishes a defence or an alternative inference of what happened does not meet the test of relevance for an extradition hearing.

“Your duty is not to let this proceeding become a trial. Extraditions are not trials,” Frater told a judge Tuesday.

Frater questioned Meng’s lawyers denials they are not trying to introduce a defence to the charges.

“Saying that does not make it so,” said Frater.

Much of the case against Meng is based on an August 2013 PowerPoint presentation she made to a HSBC executive during a lunch in Hong Kong. Meng’s lawyers want the entire PowerPoint included in the hearing. They have accused the U.S. of using a misleading summary of the meeting that “cherry picks” evidence.

The defence argues that the U.S. tried to prove its point using selected slides. But if the full presentation is viewed, Meng explains the relationship between Huawei and Skycom.

“A banker would have left the meeting knowing Skycom and Huawei were working together in Iran,” said defence lawyer Frank Addario.

Meng’s lawyers argue she gave HSBC enough information to make its own decisions regarding U.S. sanctions.

Meng followed the proceedings through an interpreter, taking occasional sips from a water bottle. She came into the courtroom wearing a mask, which she later removed, and an electronic tracking device on her ankle which is part of her bail provisions.

This week’s proceedings are part of Meng’s arguments that the extradition proceedings should be halted because of an abuse of process.

In hearings set for early 2021, her lawyers will claim Canada Border Services Agency officers detained and questioned Meng without a lawyer, seized her electronic devices and compelled her to give up the passcodes before her official arrest.

They also plan to argue the Royal Canadian Mounted Police acted at the behest of the FBI to gather and share technical information about Meng’s laptop, phones, and tablets, in violation of the Extradition Act.

Meng’s arrest has soured relations between Canada and China. In apparent retaliation, China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor. China has also placed restrictions on various Canadian exports to China, including canola oil seed.

Meng remains free on bail in Vancouver. The extradition case could take years. One extradition case in British Columbia lasted 13 years.

Jim Morris, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

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

Just Posted

Stock photo
Pair’s lawsuit dismissed against Fraser Valley soccer association and churches

Judge in Abbotsford calls claims against 14 defendants ‘an abuse of the court’s process’

RBSS students decorate a parking stall at the school as part of the Paint the Parking Lot project. (Facebook)
2021 Robert Bateman grads ‘Paint the Parking Lot’

RBSS students decorate Abbotsford school’s parking lot for a good cause

The Mennonite Heritage Museum on Clearbrook Road in Abbotsford.
Mennonite Historical Society in Abbotsford seeks input for storytelling project

Digital project asks for stories about living during COVID-19’s ‘changing times’

The city is considering easing the requirements for neighbourhoods to get traffic calming devices like raised crosswalks installed on their local roads.
PHOTO: City of Abbotsford agenda package
City may make it easier for Abbotsford residents to get speed humps on local roads

City staff suggests easing criteria for roads to qualify for traffic-calming measures

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Sex offender who viewed underage girls as slaves has prohibitions cut from 20 to 10 years

Appeal court reviewed the case of Kyler Bryan David Williams, 29

Ranil Prasad saw this poster near Surrey Central SkyTrain station on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. He said it expressed “some specific reference to white replacement theory.” (Photo: Ranil Prasad/@run_neil/Twitter)
Surrey man urges public to watch out for ‘white replacement theory’ posters

Ranil Prasad said he saw the messaging at a Surrey SkyTrain station

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The B.C. Teacher Regulation Branch has issued a decision about the actions of an elementary school teacher in Langley. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley elementary teacher suspended for grabbing, shoving, yelling at kids

Roxann Rojas will lose her legal authority to teach for two weeks from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, 2020

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Most Read