Morneau: We have to separate Huawei case from our trade relationship with China
Donald Trump is talking about wading into the legal fight of Huawei Technologies Co. Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who is facing extradition to the U.S. from Canada -- and may be helping her case.
Trump said Tuesday in an interview with Reuters that he would intervene in U.S. efforts to extradite Meng if it helped him win a trade deal with China.
“Meng’s lawyers could use Trump’s remarks as evidence to argue that the prosecution against her is politicized, and they could ask for a stay of proceedings on the basis of abuse of process (via the extradition judge) or ask the Minister not to surrender her,” Robert Currie, a law professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, who specializes in extradition law, said in an email.
Canadian government officials, speaking during a press briefing Wednesday, also acknowledged Meng’s lawyers could cite the comments in their arguments. One official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was too early to say what impact the comments would have because Trump might say new things about the case in the meantime. Canada’s foreign minister, too, said that the comments could play into the case.
"It will be up to Ms. Meng’s lawyers whether they choose to raise comments in the U.S. as part of their defense of Ms. Meng,” Chrystia Freeland said at a press conference in Ottawa on Wednesday. “And it will then be up to the Canadian judicial process, to Canadian judges, how to weigh the significance.”
Meng was granted bail Tuesday, pending her ongoing extradition case. The process can take years. China has demanded her release.