Nearly 3 years after Meng Wanzhou’s arrest, the final hearings have begun

Since then, the daughter of the founder of the Chinese telecom giant, Ren Zhengfei, has been living under surveillance in a home she owned in an upscale Vancouver neighborhood.

His arrest at the request of the United States angered Beijing and smoothed relations between Canada and China.

Two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, were arrested and imprisoned days later by Chinese authorities in what Ottawa and many of its allies see as a retaliatory measure.

Accused of fraud by American justice

Meng Wanzhou was accused of lying to HSBC about links between Huawei and its subsidiary Skycom, which had been doing business in Iran, during a 2013 meeting in Hong Kong.

The lawsuit alleges that the Chinese businesswoman, through fraudulent statements he made to an executive at the financial institution, incorrectly led HSBC to believe there was no danger in continuing to do business with Huawei despite Washington’s economic sanctions on Tehran.

Meng Wanzhou and the Chinese company denied the accusations.

Hearings beginning on Wednesday may last up to three weeks. They will allow British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Heather Holmes to hear one last time from Ms Meng’s lawyers, who argue that their client is unjustly accused.

In a document filed in court in April, they said US justice was trying to extradite her based on unreliable or misleading evidence.

The defense also claims that Ms. Meng never intended to do so Deceive HSBC said it had made no secret of the nature of the relationship between Huawei and Skycom and that there was no evidence that the bank was in danger of losing money as a result of its presentation.

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Don’t cheat. No loss. Not even the reasonable risk theory, Write lawyer Meng Wanzhou.

Not a criminal trial

The attorney general’s attorneys, for their part, point out that extradition proceedings should not replace a trial which, if extradition is made, would take place in the United States.

As in a preliminary hearing, the guilt or innocence of the person concerned is not at stake in the extradition court., they write.

Evidence submitted by another country to request the extradition of a person is Supposed to be reliableAdds the crown.

Evidence shows that Ms Meng persuaded HSBC to continue banking ties with Huawei by making misleading statements about the nature of Skycom and Huawei’s relationship. […] Knowing that this relationship puts HSBC at risk to its economic interests.

Two-part hearings

The defense alleged that Ms. Meng had been the victim of multiple abuses of procedure justifying her release.

Among these, the businesswoman’s lawyers argue that the US extradition request contains many errors and misrepresentations, which constitute a serious violation of procedures that should lead to the suspension of the extradition process.

The first part of the hearings, which begin on Wednesday, will focus on this aspect of the case.

Meng Wanzhou also alleges a violation of her rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on the day of her arrest at Vancouver Airport, where she was interrogated by Border Services officers for three hours before she was formally arrested.

In addition, his lawyers claim that the prosecution violates international law and that the proceedings were marred from the outset by political interference.

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Judge Heather Holmes will take all of this into account in the second part of the hearings, which will begin this week or next and will focus on Meng Wanzhou’s extradition to the United States.

This is the last judicial step in the process, which also has a political dimension.

If the judge recommends that Ms. Meng be imprisoned, it will be up to the federal attorney general to order whether or not she must be extradited to the United States.

If the judge decides instead that the evidence presented by the Crown, even at first glance, does not justify the trial south of the border, or that Meng Wanzhou was the victim of serious violations of procedure, she will be set free.

The public prosecutor and the defense can appeal any of these decisions.

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