Chief Financial Officer of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou leaves her home in Vancouver, Monday, October 26, 2020. The RCMP officer who arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou three hours after she was detained at Vancouver’s airport says he didn’t arrest her sooner out of respect for the jurisdiction of the Canada Border Services Agency. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Chief Financial Officer of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou leaves her home in Vancouver, Monday, October 26, 2020. The RCMP officer who arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou three hours after she was detained at Vancouver’s airport says he didn’t arrest her sooner out of respect for the jurisdiction of the Canada Border Services Agency. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Officer didn’t alert feds that CBSA would examine Meng before arrest, court hears

It’s one of several allegations of wrongdoing that Meng’s team is lodging against the RCMP and the CBSA

The RCMP officer who arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver’s airport says he didn’t know how long questioning by Canada Border Services Agency officials would delay her arrest.

Const. Winston Yep testified in B.C. Supreme Court Tuesday in the extradition case of Meng, whose lawyers are trying to show her arrest two years ago was unlawful and she should not be extradited to the U.S. on allegations of fraud.

“We didn’t know how long it was going to take,” Yep said. “We were not going to interfere with their examination.”

Yep also admitted under cross-examination that he failed to correct an affidavit prepared for him to sign that included a line saying Meng had no known connection to Canada, after border officials told him she had two homes in Vancouver.

Yep is the first in a series of witnesses called to testify this week at the request of Meng’s defence team, which is gathering evidence for arguments it will make next year that she was subjected to an abuse of process.

The defence has alleged there was a “co-ordinated strategy” to have the RCMP delay her arrest so border officials could question Meng for three hours under the pretence of a routine immigration exam.

It’s one of several allegations of wrongdoing that Meng’s team is lodging against the RCMP and the CBSA, along with accusations they kept intentionally poor notes and failed to arrest her immediately according to the warrant’s requirements.

READ MORE: RCMP officer says nothing unusual in U.S. request to arrest Huawei’s CFO

During questioning by Crown attorney John Gibb-Carsley on Monday, Yep told the court that the RCMP shares information with the CBSA as well as foreign agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States, subject to certain restrictions like personal information.

Yep testified that border officials told him before Meng was detained that she had two homes in Vancouver and they had concerns about her immigration status. He said they agreed CBSA would conduct its screening first after Meng landed in Canada, then Yep would make the arrest.

In cross-examination, defence lawyer Richard Peck questioned why Yep didn’t raise concerns about the affidavit he signed earlier when he learned of her Vancouver homes. Yep swore in the affidavit, which was required to execute the warrant, that he had knowledge of the case.

“If you knew she had ties to Canada … that would be the right thing for you to do, yes?”

“Yes, but I did not prepare the affidavit and it was my error in not recognizing that,” Yep responded.

He said he did not take any steps to verify the contents of the affidavit beyond reviewing a case summary provided to him at the same time.

Peck also asked Yep why he didn’t arrest Meng immediately after the plane landed or during a 13-minute window while she waited in a screening room before border officials questioned her.

“It could have been just as easy for you to arrest her as she stepped off that plane and handed her over to CBSA to do whatever they had to do and then take her away. That way she had her rights, charter rights,” Peck said.

Yep said that wasn’t discussed. He wanted to respect CBSA’s jurisdiction at the airport and believed he was still abiding by the arrest warrant’s stipulations for an “immediate” arrest, he said.

“My interpretation of ‘immediately’ is ‘as soon as practicable,’” he said.

The court heard the Department of Justice provided Yep with instructions on how to execute the arrest that included locating Meng, confirming her identity, arresting her and informing her of her rights.

Peck asked Yep if he alerted the Department of Justice that the CBSA would question Meng before he arrested her.

Yep said he did not.

Amy Smart, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

HuaweiMeng extradition

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two Canadian petitions are asking to have elected officials removed from office. (Pixabay.com)
COLUMN: Petitions show loss of faith in democratic process

Online petitions from third-party sources have taken aim at elected officials in Canada

Summerland’s cenotaph was originally installed in front of the high school. The old school was located close to the corner of Rosedale Avenue and Jubilee Road. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Cenotaph and parks in Summerland honour fallen soldiers

Community memorials pay tribute to those who were killed in military service

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
81 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Interior Health Friday

One additional staff member at Kelowna long-term care home tests positive, no new deaths

(File)
One death and 82 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

1,981 total cases, 609 are active and those individuals are on isolation

Paramedic Jason Manuel, dressed in PPE, inspects an ambulance at Station 341 on Nov. 30. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Second wave, twice the anxiety; Okanagan paramedics reflect on pandemic from the front line

‘I don’t know who that (next) person is going to be, I don’t want it to be me or my family’: Paramedic

A snow moon rises over Mt. Cheam in Chilliwack on Feb. 8, 2020. Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 is Mountain Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Dec. 6 to 12

Mountain Day, Dewey Decimal System Day and Lard Day are all coming up this week

A laboratory technician holds a dose of a COVID-19 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate that's ready for trial on monkeys at the National Primate Research Center of Thailand. (Mladen Antonov | AFP)
WEB POLL: Will you take a vaccine for COVID-19?

Doses are expected to arrive in the new year

Travis Hirlaka, Vernon
PHOTOS: Sunrise paints Okanagan skies

Residents in the Okanagan captured stunning shots of a colourful start to Saturday

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
First Nations Leadership Council demands justice for victims of B.C. social worker

Union of BC Indian Chiefs calls actions of Robert Saunders ‘nothing short of complete depravity’

(City of West Kelowna)
Large housing development in Central Okanagan back on the table

Council considering rezoning to accommodate 184 housing units, project hopes for ~933 by completion

Staff and students at Vernon’s Fulton Secondary School were evacuated due to an electrical short that sent one person to hospital Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (Kerry Hutter photo)
Vernon high school evacuated, one person injured by electrical short

Incident at Clarence Fulton Secondary forced brief evacuation Friday afternoon

Chinook salmon spawning in the Fraser River near Tete Jeune Cache. ((Shane Kalyn photo, property of the Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance)
North-Okanagan Shuswap MP petitions government to reform salmon management

Mel Arnold tables petition to allow more angler access to non-threatened Fraser River chinook salmon

Shuswap Cider Company has applied for a licence that would accommodate a cider manufacturing facility, a tasting room and patio/lounge area at Westgate Market in Salmon Arm. (File photo)
Cider manufacturing facilty, tasting room and patio proposed for Salmon Arm

Council asked to raise a virtual glass to a licence for a cidery and amenities in Westgate Mall

It was an opening day filled with blue skies, sun and COVID-19 protocols at Vernon’s SilverStar Mountain Resort Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Passholders enjoy sunny opening day at Silver Star Mountain

Resort staff say parking reservations, COVID-19 protocols went smoothly Friday, Dec. 4

Most Read