TORONTO—Huawei’s chief financial officer is suing the Canadian government, its border agency, and the national police force, saying they detained, searched, and interrogated her before telling her she was under arrest.
Lawyers for Meng Wanzhou said March 3 they filed a notice of civil claim in the British Columbia Supreme Court on March 1.
Canada arrested the daughter of Huawei’s founder at the request of the United States on Dec. 1 at Vancouver’s airport, amid growing global concerns that products made by the Chinese tech giant could be exploited by the Chinese regime to conduct espionage.
The U.S. Department of Justice alleges that, since 2007, Chinese telecom giant Huawei misled global banks and U.S. authorities about the company’s relationship with Hong Kong-based Skycom Tech. Prosecutors allege that Skycom conducted business in Iran on behalf of Huawei. The company maintains that they are two independent companies. U.S. authorities also allege that Meng herself was personally involved in concealing the true nature of the Huawei-Skycom relationship.
The latest civil suit alleges that instead of immediately arresting Meng, authorities interrogated her “under the guise of a routine customs” examination and used the opportunity to “compel her to provide evidence and information.”
The suit alleges Canada Border Service Agency agents seized her electronic devices, obtained passwords, and unlawfully viewed the contents and intentionally failed to advise her of the true reasons for her detention. The suit said only after three hours was she told she was under arrest and had the right to an attorney.
Such actions amounted to a “serious breach” of Meng’s constitutional rights, the lawsuit alleges, according to Canadian media outlet The Globe and Mail.
Meng is currently out on bail and living in Vancouver awaiting extradition proceedings.
On March 1, Canadian Justice Department officials gave the go-ahead for her extradition proceedings to begin. Meng is due in court on March 6 to set a date for the proceedings to start. It could be several months or even years before her case is resolved.
Meng’s arrest set off a diplomatic furor and severely strained Canadian relations with China. In the aftermath of the arrest, the communist regime warned Canada of “grave consequences” if it did not release Meng.
China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor on Dec. 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng.
A Chinese court also sentenced a Canadian to death in a sudden retrial, overturning a 15-year prison term handed down earlier. Kovrig and Spavor haven’t had access to a lawyer or to their families since being arrested.
Messages left for the Canadian government, the Canada Border Services Agency, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police were not immediately returned.
Huawei’s subsidiaries are indicted in a separate U.S. case in which they are charged with fraud, trade secrets conspiracy, and other alleged crimes. Prosecutors say they conspired to steal trade secrets from mobile carrier T-Mobile US Inc. between 2012 and 2014.
The company’s units pleaded not guilty in a federal court in Seattle on Feb. 28. A trial date was set for March 2020.
Prosecutors accused Huawei of stealing technology called “Tappy,” which mimicked human fingers and was used to test smartphones.
By Rob Gillies. From the Associated Press. The Epoch Times contributed to this report.