Denounce US misconduct and set Meng Wanzhou free2021-08-04
Denounce US misconduct and set Meng Wanzhou free, lawyer for Huawei executive tells judge in final phase of extradition case.
The US has tried to mislead the Canadian court about its fraud case against Meng, and the only remedy is a stay of proceedings, her lawyer says. The last stages of Meng’s extradition case have begun almost 1,000 days after her arrest at Vancouver’s airport
US authorities’ attempts to mislead in the extradition case of Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou “must be denounced” by halting the entire process, thus setting her free, her lawyer said, as the final scheduled hearings in the marathon case began in a Canadian court on Wednesday.
Meng’s lawyer Mona Duckett said her client’s mistreatment by the US – namely, the filing of a misleading record of the fraud case against her – could only be answered by staying the proceedings.
“The only remedy we say lies in a stay … to meaningfully denounce the misleading conduct,” Duckett told Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes in the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
It is a process that began almost 1,000 days ago, when Meng’s 2018 arrest at Vancouver’s airport triggered a crisis in Beijing’s relations with Ottawa and Washington.
The next stage, the committal hearings, are scheduled to begin on August 11, and could continue until August 20. After that, Holmes will consider her judgment, which is likely to be announced at a later date.
Meng, who is Huawei’s chief financial officer and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, is accused of defrauding the bank HSBC by lying about Huawei’s business activities in Iran, putting the bank at risk of breaching US sanctions on Tehran.
But Duckett said the ROC was inaccurate, falsely depicting what HSBC executives knew about Huawei’s Iran business. She focused on its original claim that only junior HSBC staff knew of this business; but when documents showed that senior staff knew too, the ROC was amended to suggest these were not senior enough, or not the appropriate staff, she said.
The court would not have known the “depths of the deception” by the US, except for an investigation by Meng herself, Duckett said.
That was a reference to Meng’s pursuit of a trove of HSBC documents that she obtained as a result of a Hong Kong lawsuit against the bank. The material was previously rejected by Holmes as evidence in the committal hearings, but serves to inform the third-branch arguments.
The US behaviour was “particularly egregious”, said Duckett, because it was designed “to trick the court to make the case seem stronger … those acts were done at a time, we say, that the requesting state knew the true facts”.
Source: Ian Young