Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou loses key evidence in U.S. extradition battle
A judge in British Columbia dismissed Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s attempt to submit large amounts of bank evidence in her legal battle to extradite to the United States on fraud charges.
As a result of Friday’s ruling, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies will conduct the final three weeks of extradition hearings next month, and her lawyers believe this will “fatally” destroy key documents in the entire US case against her.
Meng is facing fraud charges for allegedly misleading investment bank HSBC regarding the activities of Huawei’s subsidiaries in Iran. The United States says he violated sanctions. Meng and her company denied any wrongdoing. HSBC released documents related to the Huawei transaction in Hong Kong in April under a court intermediary agreement.
“My decision was that the application was rejected,” Deputy Chief Justice Heather Holmes said at the case management hearing on Friday. “HSBC’s documents will not be accepted.”
Holmes did not explain the reasons for the decision, but said they will be released in about 10 days.
Since her arrest at Vancouver International Airport in December 2018, Meng Wanzhou has been imposing a curfew and continuous supervision in her mansion in Vancouver. She had hoped that the newly obtained HSBC bank evidence would help her get out of trouble in Canada’s two-and-a-half years of legal battle.
Her lawyer argued last month that HSBC’s documents proved that the United States had misled Canada in terms of the strength of the case: Meng had lied to the bank about Huawei’s connection with the Iranian subsidiary Skycom. The defense attorney argued that allowing evidence would prove U.S. misconduct, thereby invalidating the extradition request.
This case places Canada between the two superpowers of Washington and Beijing. Two Canadian citizens are still struggling in Chinese prisons on charges of espionage. The federal government considers this to be revenge.
Meng’s lawyers argued on June 29 that HSBC’s documents would prove that the US account of the case “cannot stand scrutiny at all.”
“The crime of fraud proposed by the organization [U.S.] They said that the new evidence has fatal implications. “This new evidence includes indisputable and reliable contemporaneous business records from the alleged victim, HSBC, which may prove [U.S.] They are so flawed that they force the court to no longer rely on them. “
But Canadian government lawyers objected to allowing HSBC’s documents as evidence, saying that these records are more in line with the expected criminal case against Meng in the United States, rather than an extradition hearing in Canada.
Meng’s next hearing is scheduled for July 29, a few days before the three-week court appearance that is expected to begin on August 3.