It's a Big Day for Huawei Exec Detained in Canada

First phase of Meng Wanzhou's extradition hearing begins
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 20, 2020 3:18 PM CST
It's a Big Day for Huawei Exec Detained in Canada
A security member points the way as Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, leaves her home in Vancouver, Monday, January, 20, 2020. A court hearing begins today in Vancouver over the American request to extradite an executive of the Chinese telecom giant Huawei on fraud charges.   (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)

The first stage of an extradition hearing for a senior executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei started in a Vancouver courtroom Monday, a case that has infuriated Beijing, caused a diplomatic uproar between China and Canada, and complicated high-stakes trade talks between China and the United States. The New York Times reports this part of the hearing could last a week, and will determine whether the accusations against chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei's legendary founder, amount to a crime in Canada; they must in order for the country to legally proceed with her extradition to the US. Canada arrested Meng in late 2018 at the request of US officials, who accuse Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment to Iran in violation of US sanctions and say Meng fraudulently misled a bank about those business dealings.

Meng's lawyers filed a a motion Friday arguing that her case is really about US sanctions against Iran, not fraud. Canada does not have similar sanctions. “This extradition has every appearance of the United States seeking to enlist Canada to enforce the very sanctions we have repudiated," Meng's lawyer said in court. The second phase, scheduled for June, will consider defense allegations that Canada Border Services, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the FBI violated her rights while collecting evidence before she was actually arrested. The extradition case could take years to resolve if there are appeals. Meng, 47, is free on bail and living in one of the two Vancouver mansions she owns; the Times notes she can travel relatively freely around the city, but a friend and Huawei board member tells the paper "she feels trapped" in what amounts to a gilded cage.

(More Meng Wanzhou stories.)

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