The chief financial officer of Chinese giant Huawei returned to a Canadian court on Wednesday for a final round of hearings devoted to its possible extradition to the United States, after nearly three years of legal battle and diplomatic crisis.
Meng Wanzhou, 49, the daughter of the founder of the telecom giant, Ren Zhengfei, was arrested on December 1, 2018 at Vancouver airport at the request of the United States, which wants to stand trial for bank fraud.
Mrs. Meng holds an electronic bracelet, and lives on probation at her luxury property in Canada’s Pacific capital, in western Canada. On Wednesday, she is expected to begin before the British Columbia Supreme Court for more than two weeks of hearings.
Washington accuses Huawei No. 2 of lying to an HSBC executive, during a meeting in Hong Kong in 2013, about links between the Chinese group and its subsidiary Skycom, which sold equipment to Iran, exposing the institution to US sanctions. The applicant has long denied these accusations.
US Attorney Mark Sandler said the evidence presented by the US “does not stand up to fact-checking”.
For nearly three years, Ms. Meng’s defense tried to prove that the US justice system was not competent to seek her extradition, that the charges would not be prosecutable in Canada, and that her rights were not respected.
Also, former President Donald Trump had “poisoned” the procedure by assuring at the end of 2018 that he would not hesitate to intervene in the case against Ms. Meng if trade concessions could be obtained from China. But without winning the case.
For the prosecution, the items put forward by the defense are intended to “transform this procedure into a criminal prosecution that must be conducted” in the United States.
Canadians imprisoned in China
The arrest of the daughter of the founder of Huawei in Vancouver on the orders of the United States has sparked an unprecedented diplomatic crisis between Beijing and Ottawa.
A few days after his arrest, China arrested two Canadians: former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor. The arrests were seen as a retaliatory measure by Ottawa and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which Beijing denies.
The two men were tried for “espionage” last spring during a closed trial and are awaiting verdict.
China has also blocked Canadian agricultural exports worth billions of dollars.
Both the Chinese government and the technology pioneer have consistently denied Washington’s accusations, with Beijing believing that the US administration is primarily seeking to weaken a leading Chinese company.
“The US goal is to bring down Huawei and other Chinese high-tech companies, and Canada has played the role of US partners. “This whole case is a serious political incident,” the Chinese embassy in Canada explained in May 2020 after a legal setback at Camp Meng.
Sessions are due to end on August 20, but a decision is not expected for a few months. And in the event of an appeal, the procedure may take several more years.
“Food trailblazer. Passionate troublemaker. Coffee fanatic. General analyst. Certified creator. Lifelong music expert. Alcohol specialist.”