Monday, December 4, 2023

Huawei CFO Asks for Proceedings to be Stayed in Extradition Case Finale

The Jakarta Globe
August 10, 2021 | 8:59 am
Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou. (Photo Courtesy of Huawei)
Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou. (Photo Courtesy of Huawei)

Jakarta. In a final stretch of marathon extradition hearings of Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver since Wednesday, Meng's defense team has submitted arguments that she should be freed on the grounds of the "manifestly unreliable" record of the case (ROC), a document provided by the US that summarizes the accusations against her to justify the extradition.

 Meng's lawyers Mona Duckett and Frank Addario argued before the judge in three hearings last week that intentionally fabricated Meng's case, and that the ROCs submitted by the US to the court had “seriously misled the Canadian court”. The US also violated its duty to be diligent, candid, accurate and good faith in the extradition proceedings and deliberately omitted key information for the ROCs including that HSBC was under strict monitoring from the US since December 2012 due the bank’s failure to implement proper anti-money laundering initiatives. 

 The US has "mischaracterized" evidence and "omitted" other evidence in order to establish fraud; and that its "misconduct in certifying misleading evidence". In addition to “the shifting theory" of the case, it has "corroded the fairness" of the Canadian legal proceedings, according to a statement released by Huawei.

 After nearly 3 years, the legal proceedings against Meng is now entering its final stages. In upcoming two weeks, Meng, 49, who is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, appears in court where arguments will determine whether the case will result in Meng’s freedom or extradition to the New York court. 

Meng, 49, was arrested by Canadian authorities at the behest of the US in Canada, on Dec 1, 2018. She is accused of misrepresenting the Chinese telecom company's relationship with Skycom in a PowerPoint presentation to HSBC in 2013 and putting the bank at risk of violating US sanctions against Iran. 

Previously, Meng's side submitted new evidence in the form of a bunch of documents obtained from a Hong Kong court. The 300-page documents are in the form of internal communications such as emails, meeting minutes and other reports between executives in HSBC management regarding this case. The documents on the one hand confirm that the bank's management is fully aware of the relationship between Huawei and its subsidiary Skycom and thus weakens the US charges against Meng.

Meng's lawyers have claimed her "abuse of process" motion is based on four branches of misconduct: (1) the politicization of her case by former US president Donald Trump and others; (2) an arrest that was a "master class in how to violate a person's Charter rights"; (3) the certification by the US of "manifestly unreliable and potentially misleading" evidence aimed at the Court; and (4) a claim of jurisdiction by the US that constitutes a "brazen violation" of customary international law.

 Meng's lawyers will urge the court to consider the "cumulative impact" of the different branches and that a stay of the proceedings should be granted as a remedial and compensatory measure.

 Huawei Canada said in a statement,"As the case enters its next phase, Huawei remains confident in Ms Meng's innocence. We will, as always, continue to support Ms. Meng's pursuit of justice and freedom."

After the remedy hearing, the court continue with the committal hearing to decide on the extradition case based on the evidence received by the trial. Although Judge Holmes has yet to announce a verdict date, the trial is scheduled to conclude before 20 August.

2.5 year timeline of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou extradition case

December 1, 2018

Meng was arrested by Canadian authorities at Vancouver airport. The new arrests were made public December 5.

11 December 2018

US President Donald Trump said that he would intervene in the Meng case if the case was useful to the US national interest

January 26 2019

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sacked Canada's ambassador to China John McCallum who commented that Huawei was able to win the extradition case amid Trump's comments to intervene in the case.

15 July 2019

Canada delays decision to allow Huawei to build 5G network in Canada.

27 May 2020

The court ruled that Meng's charges met the requirements of "double criminality" meaning Meng was charged with violating laws in both the US and Canada

November 7, 2020

The retired Canadian police officer who arrested Meng and secretly collected evidence on a US order refused to testify at trial.

February 25, 2021

Meng party sought access to HSBC documents through the court in Hong Kong to present them as new evidence at trial

March 2, 2021

Meng's lawyer said HSBC bankers were "fully aware" of Huawei's control of Skycom and therefore undermined the US charge against Meng that Meng withheld the information.

9 July 2021

Canadian court rejects submission of HSBC documentary evidence

August 4, 2021

Follow-up hearings on abuse of process involving Canadian and US authorities in Meng's extradition case

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