Canadian Judge Reserves Decision on Huawei CFO Meng’s Extradition Case

By Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Reporter
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.
August 19, 2021 Updated: August 19, 2021

A Canadian judge on Aug. 18 reserved her decision on whether to extradite Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou to the United States, saying she will announce the date of her ruling in October.

Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes adjourned the hearing by saying she will likely announce on Oct. 21 when she will rule about whether Meng—a Chinese national who is chief financial officer for Huawei and daughter of its founder, Ren Zhengfei—will be extradited to stand trial in the United States. Ren was a former director of telecoms research in the Chinese military’s General Staff Department.

Meng was arrested on a provisional warrant at Vancouver International Airport at the request of the United States on Dec. 1, 2018. She is accused of misleading HSBC bankers about Huawei’s business dealings with Iran-based company Skycom Tech Co. Ltd.—a move that put HSBC at risk of violating U.S. trade sanctions against Iran. Both Meng and Huawei have denied the charges. Lawyers in Canada representing Meng have sought to convince the court to not extradite her.

If the judge rules to extradite Meng, the final decision to send her to the United States to face criminal charges will lie with Canada’s justice minister, David Lametti.

Defense lawyers have argued that the case should be tossed out as a remedy to a series of alleged abuses Meng has suffered—which ranged from an alleged abuse of process by Canadian police and border officers, to the U.S. government’s alleged withholding of crucial details from Canada in an alleged attempt to mislead the court.

But in his final submissions, Justice Department lawyer Robert Frater disputed the defense’s claims.

“We say there is a strong case here Ms. Meng was dishonest,” Frater said. “We met our burden.”

By not disclosing Huawei’s true relationship with Skycom, Meng put HSBC at risk of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran, he said.

“HSBC was deprived of a fair opportunity to take the action it needed to take,” Frater told the judge.

He said Meng was honest in parts of her meeting with an HSBC executive, but she didn’t tell “the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

Frater said the defense is trying to “blame the victim” by saying it was the bank’s decision to transfer money from Skycom through the United States.

In a statement on Twitter, Huawei Canada said the company “has been confident in Ms. Meng’s innocence and has trusted the Canadian justice system” from the start.

“Accordingly, Huawei has been supporting Ms. Meng’s pursuit of justice and freedom. We continue to do so today,” it stated.

The case has soured Canada–China relations. Shortly after Meng’s arrest, the Chinese regime arbitrarily detained two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, on charges of alleged espionage, a move widely seen as a retaliation against Canada. On Aug. 11, a Chinese court sentenced Spavor to 11 years in prison.

Kovrig’s trial was conducted in March. It isn’t clear when he will be sentenced.

Separately, a Chinese court last week upheld a death sentence against Canadian citizen Robert Schellenberg, who was convicted of drug charges in China. Schellenberg has been detained in China since 2014. He was originally sentenced to 15 years in prison in late 2018, but shortly after Meng’s arrest, he was brought back to court and handed a death sentence in a one-day retrial.

Beijing has rejected the suggestion that the cases of the Canadians in China being influenced in response to Meng’s case in Canada, although it has warned of unspecified consequences unless Meng is released.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Reporter
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.