Canada to proceed with extradition case against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou

Minnie Murray
March 3, 2019

Meng, the chief financial officer of the Chinese company Huawei, was detained in Canada in December 2018 after the United States utilized it's extradition treaty with Canada on charges of bank and wire fraud in the U.S.

An appearance has been scheduled at the B.C. Supreme Court on Wednesday morning to confirm the authority to proceed has been issued, and to set a date for the hearing itself.

"The department is satisfied that. there is sufficient evidence to be put before an extradition judge for decision", it said.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a statement yesterday the United States and Canada were "abusing their bilateral extradition treaty to apply arbitrary coercive measures against Chinese citizens".

Canada has formally started the extradition process against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, about three months after her arrest in Vancouver.

Meng, Huawei's chief financial officer and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, was changing planes in Vancouver in December when she was detained at Washington's request on suspicion of violating USA sanctions on Iran.

Legal experts had predicted Ottawa would give the go-ahead for extradition proceedings, given the close judicial relationship between Canada and the United States. A Chinese court had also sentenced to death a Canadian man who had previously been jailed for drug smuggling.

China's embassy in Canada has lambasted the move as politically motivated, saying in a statement that the Chinese side is "utterly dissatisfied" with how the case has been unfolding.

Canada is allowing Huawei's CFO to be extradited to the US-but that doesn't mean she'll be extradited anytime soon.

The Chinese government on Saturday criticized the decision as a "serious violation" of Meng's rights and called on Washington to withdraw its extradition request.

However, it seems a little bit freakish when the Canadian Justice Department stated the hearing "is neither a trial nor does it render a verdict of guilt or innocence". A department statement stressed that Canada was following its laws.

The arrest on December 1 in Vancouver of Meng Wanzhou - who is also the daughter of Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei - stoked controversy from the outset, with China claiming that the law enforcement operation was political.

U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman Nicole Navas Oxman said the department pursues cases "free of any political interference" and follows evidence and the law. His client now remains on bail and will eagerly await on the decision to see whether or not she will be extradited to the United States to face trial for the crimes she is accused of.

"The requesting state, in this case the United States, would need to demonstrate the case that they have for taking Ms. Meng's trial in the United States", Edelmann adds.

As a company, Huawei has also been accused of less than scrupulous practices and business activities relating to a T-Mobile robot affectionately named "Tappy".

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