Huawei CFO Returns to Court in Battle Against Extradition to US

November 17, 2020 Updated: November 17, 2020

Huawei Technology’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou returned to court on Nov. 16 as the case for her extradition to the United States continues at the B.C. Supreme Court.

Meng’s lead defence attorney Richard Peck said that Ben Chang, a former RCMP officer, provided the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation with “identifying information” from Meng’s electronic devices, which constitutes an abuse of process.

But Chang said in the affidavit that “[as] I was never asked for the identifying information by [any] member of the FBI, or any other member of any other United States authorities, this information was never shared,” reported South China Morning Post.

Peck told Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes that Chang has been advised not to testify at the court hearings and has retained outside counsel.

Meng was arrested by the RCMP at the Vancouver International Airport on Dec. 1, 2018, on the basis of an extradition request from the United States.

U.S. authorities accused Meng of lying to multiple financial institutions about Huawei’s business relations with Iran, which puts banks like HSBC at risk of violating U.S. sanctions against the Middle East country.

Sanjit Dhillon, who testified on Nov. 16, said that when first questioned at the airport, Meng was “calm and open” until she was asked specifically about the security concerns regarding her company. Dhillon was an acting superintendent with the Canadian Border Services Agency on the day Meng was detained.

Dhillon testified that he did some research online when he saw Meng’s name flagged in an internal database for an outstanding warrant, reported Chronicle News.

“Since she’s the chief financial officer of this telecommunications company, I would assume that she would know why her company isn’t able to sell its products in one of the most lucrative markets in the world,” he said.

“She was quiet. She didn’t respond right away. And eventually she said there was a security concern with the product the U.S. government had.”

Dhillon said Meng didn’t specify what the security concerns were.

Meng’s case is set to close in April 2021.

Meanwhile, the Conservative Party introduced a motion on Nov. 17 that would require the government to make a decision on Huawei within 30 days. It also called on the Liberals to follow Australia’s lead and develop a “robust plan” to combat “China’s growing foreign operations” in Canada and its “increasing intimidation of Canadians living in Canada.”

“Canada and our allies believe that engagement would lead to democracy. We falsely believe that ignoring the sharp edges of communism would, over time, smooth them out by putting trade ahead of our values,” Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said in a press conference.

“The rise of Huawei was itself facilitated by years of industrial espionage conducted by China against Nortel. … Everything carried out by the Chinese Communist Party is deliberate and planned.”

Canadian citizens Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were detained by the Chinese authorities soon after Meng was arrested, a move that is widely believed to be in retaliation for Meng’s arrest.

“The Chinese Communist Party is threatening Canada’s national interest and our values—including Canadians of Chinese origin within Canada’s borders,” O’Toole wrote on Facebook. ”It’s time for strong and principled foreign policy backed by action.”