Meng extradition hearing wraps up in Canada

Judge reserves decision that could free Huawei executive

Barry Ellsworth   | 24.01.2020
Meng extradition hearing wraps up in Canada


The judge reserved her decision Thursday as the extradition hearing for Chinese tech giant Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou ended after the fourth day of testimony in a Canadian court. 

If Justice Heather Holmes sides with the defense argument, Meng will be freed. But if Holmes sides with the Crown, as the government prosecution is called, the extradition hearing will reconvene in June.

The United States had asked Canada to arrest Meng and extradite her to face charges that she helped an unofficial Huawei subsidiary do business in Iran for Iranian telecom companies, breaching U.S. sanctions against Iran.

She has been under house arrest and free on $10 million bail since her detention in December 2018 at Vancouver airport.

The case centers on double criminality – whether charges Meng is accused of in the U.S. would also be considered crimes in Canada.

The defense contends that since Canada does not have the same sanctions against Iran as the U.S. claims Meng broke, Meng did nothing wrong in Canada.

Further, the defense argued that the Crown has changed its case. The judge who ordered her arrest was told it was because of violating Iranian sanctions. But this week, the Crown argued that the judge does not need to consider the sanctions for the allegations to amount to fraud.

The Crown said Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) in Canada continued to do business with Huawei involving Iran because Meng used misinterpretations of the deal, thereby defrauding the bank.

The defense countered that argument by saying that HSBC would not have experienced any detriment to its business in Canada because the business dealings did not breach any Iranian sanctions.

A date for when the judge will render a decision was not given.

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