Huawei CFO Lawyer Says ‘Bad Faith’ US Repeatedly Mislead Canada Court on Extradition Bid
02:51 GMT 05.08.2021 (Updated: 13:21 GMT 06.08.2022)
© JENNIFER GAUTHIERHuawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou returns to court following a break in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, August 4, 2021. REUTERS/Jennifer Gauthier
© JENNIFER GAUTHIER
TORONTO (Sputnik) - The United States repeatedly misled Canada’s legal system on several key issues pertinent to the extradition proceedings against Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, Mona Duckett, a member of the executive’s legal team, argued in a British Columbia courtroom.
The last leg of the extradition hearings began on Wednesday, with lawyers for the Attorney General of Canada (AGC) and the Huawei executive expected to spar, between now and August 20, over allegations that US prosecutors manipulated the case against Meng.
“The requesting state’s conduct has been egregious for five reasons,” Duckett told British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Heather Holmes. “Number one, it is the court that has been misled; number two, on multiple occasions; number three, in relation to matters that are important or central.”
Duckett emphasized the United States misinformed the court on issues that “favored committal” – a judge’s decision deeming the legal procedure serious enough to bring evidence before the court – despite prosecutors knowing the true facts of the case.
The Canadian court was “tricked” by the United States to make the case against Meng seem stronger, Dockett added.
Meng’s legal counsel said the United States was aware of evidence that suggested HSBC executives were cognizant of Huawei’s control over a company that the Justice Department alleges was used to circumvent sanctions on Iran, which forms the basis for the fraud charges Meng is facing.
The US Justice Department alleges that Meng committed fraud by misleading HSBC into approving more than $100 million in transactions that contravened US sanctions on Iran from 2010 to 2014. Tehran-based Skycom is alleged to have acted as the shell company for Huawei in its transactions with Iran.
Last month, Holmes rejected Wanzhou’s application to adduce documents from HSBC as supplementary evidence in the extradition hearings. In April, the High Court of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ordered HSBC to release additional documents to the executive’s defense team and to Canadian government prosecutors. The defense attorney said that while the trove of HSBC documents was not adduced to the case, Holmes should, nevertheless, be cognizant of them.
Docket on multiple occasions emphasized that the United States had acted in “bad faith” and noted that no Canadian litigate could “get away” with the conduct the Justice Department had engaged in.
Meng’s attorney also mentioned that while Canada is a party to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the United States is not and therefore is not bound by Article 26, which states “every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith.”
Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, was arrested on December 1, 2018 at Vancouver International Airport during a layover stop at the request of the US government.
Meng remains under house arrest in Vancouver, although is free to traverse the region in the company of state-imposed guards outside of her 11:00 p.m to 6:00 a.m. curfew.
The final arguments in the 18-month-long extradition process are expected to wrap up on August 20.
Holmes is expected give her recommendation on United States’ extradition request to AGC and Justice David Lametti later in the fall. Lametti has the final say on the request and has the right to refuse extradition in exceptional circumstances.