Meng Wanzhou extradition case still needs time to unfold: Former Canadian ambassador to China
Canadian border and police officials involved in the 2018 arrest of Huawei Technologies Co. Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou will testify this week in her long-running legal fight to avoid extradition to the U.S.
The hearing that starts Monday at the Supreme Court of British Columbia will be to assess evidence in her claim that Canadian officials handled her arrest and interrogation unlawfully and that the extradition proceedings should be dismissed. The judge won’t rule on her claim until February and final extradition hearings are set for April.
American prosecutors accuse the 48-year-old Chinese executive of fraud, saying she tricked HSBC Holdings Plc into processing Iran-linked transactions that put the bank at risk of violating U.S. sanctions. Meng -- who is also the eldest daughter of Huawei’s billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei -- was arrested in December 2018 during a stopover at a Vancouver airport.Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co., leaves her home to attend Supreme Court for an extradition hearing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. Meng is seeking to convince the judge that the U.S. case against her is so flawed that she's entitled to a separate hearing on whether her case should be thrown out as an abuse of process.
Meng accuses Canadian border agents, police and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation of unlawfully using the pretext of an immigration check to get her to disclose evidence that could be used against her.
In hearings earlier this year, evidence was presented that border officials detained Meng for three hours at the airport, seized her electronic devices and passwords, and asked her about Huawei’s business in Iran without telling her why.
At the time, Meng didn’t know that a sealed U.S. indictment had accused her of fraud related to sanctions on Iran. Border agents have said they shared “in error” her device passwords with Canadian police. She was advised of her right to remain silent hours later when police arrested her.
Meng is waging a legal battle that could take years. While final hearings are scheduled to take place in April, appeals could lengthen the process far longer with some extradition cases lasting as a long as a decade.