ROn Thursday in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Hubert Frater responded to the defense arguments this week that the case violates international law and should be rejected by the Assistant Chief Justice.
“The flaws in their argument are so broad and profound that I don’t know where to start,” Frater told Judge Heather Holmes.
The United States wants Huawei’s CFO to be brought to justice for fraud. US prosecutors allege that Meng lied to HSBC Commercial Bank about the Chinese telecom giant’s relationship with another company, Skycom, that was doing business in Iran. Ms Meng and Huawei deny the allegations.
The defense argued this week that Ms Meng is a Chinese citizen, that HSBC is a Sino-British bank and that a business meeting was held in Hong Kong: thus the US has no jurisdiction to enforce the charges.
But Frater argued on Thursday that the purpose of the business meeting in Hong Kong was specifically to assuage the bank’s fears of a possible violation of US sanctions against Iran, through its trade ties with Huawei.
The 2013 meeting came on the heels of Reuters reports that Skycom was selling US-made computers to Iran’s largest mobile operator – and that Skycom was under the control of Huawei.
“Why was this meeting held? At Ms. Meng’s request, a meeting between senior executives, between a concerned client and banker,” said Mr. Frater, Thursday.
He said Ms Meng showed HSBC executives a PowerPoint show that Huawei was aware of the US sanctions and complied with them. However, according to Me Frater, this presentation was wrongly designed to woo Huawei away from Skycom. “In our opinion, Ms. Meng clearly knew what she was doing.”
A “real and substantial” link?
According to Ms. Meng’s attorney, the only connection the United States can claim to have in this case is that the $ 2 million in payments between an HSBC customer and Skycom were handled in US dollars, through the US financial system, as is often the case. The case with such arrangements. However, according to the defense, this financial exercise was not sufficient for the United States to claim a “real or material” link to the alleged crime, which would be necessary under international law.
Then, May Frater responded Thursday that the case goes beyond this “dollar compensation” and should be viewed from the perspective of the crime Ms. Meng was accused of committing: fraud. He argued that fraud is not just about lying: it is about the risk of deprivation or economic loss of others.