Canadian Manufacturing

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general to argue for extradition of Meng Wanzhou

The defence wrapped its arguments on the topic Jan. 21, saying that the case against her does not amount to fraud in Canada

January 22, 2020  The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER—Lawyers representing the Canadian attorney general are set to begin arguments Jan. 22 at an extradition hearing for Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou.

The hearing in Vancouver this week is focusing on the legal test of double criminality, meaning that the allegations against Meng must also be a crime in Canada for her to be extradited to the United States.

The defence wrapped its arguments on the topic Jan. 21, saying that the case against her does not amount to fraud in Canada.

The United States has charged her with fraud over allegations she lied to an HSBC executive about Huawei’s relationship with a subsidiary doing business in Iran.

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She’s accused of putting the investment bank at risk of legal and economic loss for violating American sanctions against Iran, but Meng’s lawyers point out Canada has no such sanctions.

The Crown has argued in court documents that Meng’s alleged lies to the bank are enough to prove a case of fraud in Canada.

It also argues that, if necessary, the judge can consider the context of American sanctions in a limited way, only to shed light on the risk faced by HSBC.

Meng denies the allegations and is free on bail, living in one of her two multimillion-dollar homes in Vancouver.

She has been listening in court with the help of a translator.

Following her arrest at Vancouver’s airport in December 2018, China detained two Canadian citizens and restricted some imports, actions widely seen as retaliation.

The British Columbia Supreme Court hearing on double criminality is expected to last through the end of the day tomorrow.

If the judge finds the legal test has been met, the hearing will proceed to a second phase in June that will consider defence allegations that Meng’s rights were violated during her arrest at the airport.

But if the judge finds double criminality has not been proven, Meng will be free to leave Canada, although she’ll still have to stay away from the United States to avoid the charges.