Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou arrives home after a court appearance in Vancouver. (CP)

Prosecutor: Huawei defence turning US extradition into trial

The U.S. accuses Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company called Skycom to sell equipment to Iran

A Canadian prosecutor says by requesting the inclusion of additional evidence the defence team for a Chinese executive wanted in the United States is coming close to turning an extradition hearing into a trial.

Canada arrested the chief financial officer of Huawei at Vancouver’s airport in late 2018. The U.S. wants Meng Manzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, extradited to face fraud charges. Her arrest infuriated Beijing.

The U.S. accuses Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company called Skycom to sell equipment to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. It says Meng, 48, committed fraud by misleading the HSBC bank about the company’s business dealings in Iran.

Prosecutor Robert Frater said evidence that establishes a defence or an alternative inference of what happened does not meet the test of relevance for an extradition hearing.

“Your duty is not to let this proceeding become a trial. Extraditions are not trials,” Frater told a judge Tuesday.

Frater questioned Meng’s lawyers denials they are not trying to introduce a defence to the charges.

“Saying that does not make it so,” said Frater.

Much of the case against Meng is based on an August 2013 PowerPoint presentation she made to a HSBC executive during a lunch in Hong Kong. Meng’s lawyers want the entire PowerPoint included in the hearing. They have accused the U.S. of using a misleading summary of the meeting that “cherry picks” evidence.

The defence argues that the U.S. tried to prove its point using selected slides. But if the full presentation is viewed, Meng explains the relationship between Huawei and Skycom.

“A banker would have left the meeting knowing Skycom and Huawei were working together in Iran,” said defence lawyer Frank Addario.

Meng’s lawyers argue she gave HSBC enough information to make its own decisions regarding U.S. sanctions.

Meng followed the proceedings through an interpreter, taking occasional sips from a water bottle. She came into the courtroom wearing a mask, which she later removed, and an electronic tracking device on her ankle which is part of her bail provisions.

This week’s proceedings are part of Meng’s arguments that the extradition proceedings should be halted because of an abuse of process.

In hearings set for early 2021, her lawyers will claim Canada Border Services Agency officers detained and questioned Meng without a lawyer, seized her electronic devices and compelled her to give up the passcodes before her official arrest.

They also plan to argue the Royal Canadian Mounted Police acted at the behest of the FBI to gather and share technical information about Meng’s laptop, phones, and tablets, in violation of the Extradition Act.

Meng’s arrest has soured relations between Canada and China. In apparent retaliation, China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor. China has also placed restrictions on various Canadian exports to China, including canola oil seed.

Meng remains free on bail in Vancouver. The extradition case could take years. One extradition case in British Columbia lasted 13 years.

Jim Morris, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

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

Just Posted

Four staff members at the Okanagan Men’s Centre have tested positive for COVID-19 since Oct. 23, 2020. (Adult and Teen Challenge OMC photo)
Four positive COVID-19 cases at Okanagan Men’s Centre

Those affected are staff and have been in isolation since Oct. 23

While there is no Halloween event at the fairgrounds this year, the town is still planning fireworks for Oct. 30. File photo.
Oooooh….Awwwww….get ready for Halloween fireworks

Look up and to the north, Friday Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m.

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health records third COVID-19 death

A new community outbreak was reported at Okanagan Men’s Centre in Lake Country

Decorate, dress up and eat candy. But consider staying home. Black Press photo
EDITORIAL: Think about staying home this Halloween

Like everything in 2020, it has to be different

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Superintendent of the Kelowna RCMP, Kara Triance. (Capital News file)
Non-violent crime, small population contributes to Kelowna’s crime rate spike, says RCMP

Kelowna RCMP is assuring the public the city is a safe place

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Crime up 31 per cent in Vernon in 2019: Statistics Canada

Increase includes a 45 per cent rise in violent Criminal Code violations

A Tuesday Oct. 27, 2020 apartment fire in Penticton killed two and displaced dozens more. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Fatal Penticton apartment fire deemed accidental

The blaze gutted an apartment building on Tuesday morning, killing two people and displacing dozens

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports seven more COVID-19 cases

Eighty-nine cases remain active, none of whom are currently hospitalized

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

This Photoshopped version of the crosswalks near the entrance to the Salmon Arm Arts Centre on Hudson Avenue show what is proposed to help create safety for and show inclusivity to the LGBTQ2S+ community. (Salmon Arm Arts Centre image)
Tri-rainbow crosswalk and Progress flag requested to help make Salmon Arm safe

Council will consider budget requests to help make city inclusive to LBGTQ2S+ community

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Most Read