Huawei CFO to seek evidence withheld by Canada about her arrest


Meng Wanzhou exits the Supreme Court after an extradition hearing in Vancouver on 23 January 2020. Photo: Darryl Dyck | Bloomberg


Text Size:

Vancouver: Huawei Technologies Co.’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou is seeking access to hundreds of confidential documents pertaining to her arrest by Canadian authorities as her next round of extradition hearings in Vancouver kicks off Monday.

Meng has been pressing for additional disclosure about the circumstances of her arrest at Vancouver’s airport on a U.S. handover request in December 2018. She argues her arrest was unlawful and that the extradition request should be dismissed.

Meng claims there was an abuse of process during her arrest, accusing border agents, police and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation of unlawfully using the pretext of an immigration check to get her to disclose evidence they could use against her. Border agents have said that they shared “in error” her device passwords with police. Those abuses are serious enough to warrant a stay of extradition proceedings, Meng says.

In February, Canada’s Attorney General provided some 400 documents to her lawyers, half of which were either partially or wholly redacted, along with a list of others that were withheld entirely. The government claims that divulging them would violate confidentiality agreements with clients and third parties. Meng has challenged the redactions as irrelevant and obstructionist.

Five days of hearings are scheduled at the Supreme Court of British Columbia during which Meng will seek an order that would force the government to provide additional disclosure. Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes is likely to issue a decision by Oct. 2, according to a hearing schedule approved earlier by the court.

Separately, at a federal court in Ottawa, Meng is challenging Canada’s decision to withhold on national security grounds documents from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service that detail the role the FBI played in her arrest.

Meng accused Canada of “coordinated state misconduct,” saying police, border officials and the FBI worked together in secret as authorities questioned her for hours and obtained passwords to her electronic devices before formally charging her. The U.S. seeks Meng’s handover to face charges that she conspired to defraud banks, including HSBC Holdings Plc., by tricking them into violating sanctions against Iran.

The arrest of Meng, 48, the eldest daughter of Huawei’s billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei, has plunged Canada-China relations into their darkest period in decades. Following her arrest, China jailed two Canadians — Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig — on espionage charges, halted billions of dollars in Canadian imports, and put four other Canadians on death row.- Bloomberg


Also read: How a letter on hostage diplomacy with China backfired in Canada


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it

You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.

You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.

We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.

At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.

This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.

If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.

Support Our Journalism