VANCOUVER | The extradition process to the United States of a Huawei executive resumed Monday in a Canadian court, his lawyers accusing the American courts of having “blatantly deceived” Canada about its alleged crimes in order to obtain his arrest.
• Read also: Huawei: Meng Wanzhou back in court to oppose extradition
With a mask on his face, an electronic box clearly visible on his left ankle, Meng Wanzhou attended the first day of the British Columbia Supreme Court hearing in person, for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
China’s Huawei chief financial officer was arrested on 1er December 2018, during a stopover at Vancouver airport, at the behest of the American justice system, which accuses him of having circumvented American sanctions against Iran.
US justice has “blatantly deceived” Canada, which should lead to the cancellation of the extradition process, his lawyers said immediately.
According to them, the United States “failed in its duty of frankness and sincerity”. They point to “inaccuracies” and alleged “omissions” when they asked Canada to arrest Mr.me Meng, late 2018.
This arrest of the daughter of the founder of the Huawei group, who has since been placed under house arrest in Vancouver, triggered an unprecedented diplomatic crisis between Ottawa and Beijing.
Days later, ex-Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and fellow consultant Michael Spavor were arrested in China, before being charged with espionage in mid-June.
Their detention is widely viewed in the West as a retaliatory measure.
Washington notably accuses Mme Meng for lying to HSBC Bank about Huawei’s relationship with Skycom, a subsidiary that sold telecoms equipment to Iran, which exposed the bank to a possible violation of US sanctions against Tehran.
Huawei owned Skycom until the Chinese giant decided to sell its shares to another company, also under its control, according to US authorities.
The United States assures that Mme Meng withheld the information from HSBC, exposing the bank to further civil and criminal penalties after it paid fines for violating other penalties including transacting with Cuba and Libya.
“She said everything they needed to know to gauge the risk of sanctions,” said lawyer Scott Fenton. Mme Meng said trading through the US banking system would be risky for HSBC, during a PowerPoint presentation to a bank executive in Hong Kong in 2013, at the heart of the process.
“The vast majority of what [Mme Meng] told HSBC is not included in the summary, and there are, in part two, key statements[madebyM[faitesparM[madebyM[faitesparMme Meng]which demonstrate, by their omission, that the summary and the dossier are clearly unreliable and seriously misleading, “he argued.
The world’s leading telecoms supplier, Huawei has been blamed, amid a trade war between the United States and China, by the Trump administration, which highlights a risk of espionage on behalf of the Chinese government.
“The Trump administration has sent Canadian authorities a constant stream of false information about Meng Wanzhou and has abused the Canadian justice system,” Alykhan Velshi, spokesperson for Huawei Canada, told AFP.
M’s lawyersme Meng also denounce, in another facet of the proceedings, the existence of a conspiracy between the Canadian and American authorities who would have agreed to gather evidence and question their client without the presence of a lawyer for several hours during the meeting. his stopover, before officially stopping him.
Hearings in Vancouver are scheduled to continue until Friday. Meng Wanzhou’s extradition process is set to last at least until the spring of 2021, but could run for several years if appeals are made.