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

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

The entrance to the Port Hardy aquatic centre. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
Port Hardy council will decide fate of pool revitalization project at next meeting

The pool revitalization project will be on the agenda at the Dec. 8 meeting for council to vote on.

The Port Alice Community Centre opened its doors to the public Wednesday through Friday morning, offering coffee, tea, hot soup, meals and warmth. Cots were available for overnight stays. The centre had a generator, so people were able to charge their devices. Approximately 75 residents passed through during the three-day outage. (Debra Lynn photo)
Port Alice residents talk three-day power outage

The Port Alice Community Centre opened its doors to the public Wednesday through Friday morning.

Emma Garriott is releasing her second album titled ‘Sad White Girl Angst.’ (Emma Garriott / Facebook photo)
North Island musician releases second album titled ‘Sad White Girl Angst’

“When you hear it, I want you to feel like your best friend in the whole world is sitting beside you’

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement forecasting windy weather Sunday and Monday. (News Bulletin file photo)
More windy weather on the way for Vancouver Island

Environment Canada issues special weather statement for Victoria, east coast of Island, north Island

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

The CVRD will reconsider its policies on fireworks after receiving complaints. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley Regional District considers options for fireworks after complaints

Distict only allows fireworks on Halloween and New Year’s Eve, with a permit

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Paramedics register patients at a drive through, pop-up COVID-19 test centre outside the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, in Ottawa, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians aren’t currently worried that people in other countries might get a COVID-19 vaccine first. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadians not worried other countries will get COVID-19 vaccine first: poll

Forty-one per cent of respondents say they want the vaccine to be mandatory for all Canadians

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Most Read