Huawei CFO extradition hearing set for January 2020

Huawei reiterates that approving the extradition request is a violation of Canadian law.
Written by Campbell Kwan, Contributor

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is set to attend court on January 20, 2020 to appeal against her extradition to the United States, according to court documents.

The Canadian government had decided in March to allow the extradition process to move forward.

"The decision follows a thorough and diligent review of the evidence in this case," the Department of Justice Canada said in a release at the time. "The Department is satisfied that the requirements set out by the Extradition Act for the issuance of an Authority to Proceed have been met and there is sufficient evidence to be put before an extradition judge for decision."

In the United States, Meng is currently facing an indictment for allegedly misrepresenting Huawei's ownership and control of Iranian affiliate Skycom to banks, which breached UN, US, and EU sanctions.

In light of the challenge to Meng's extradition, Huawei Canada vice president of international media affairs Benjamin Howes, said in a press conference on Thursday that the extradition request violates a core principle of Canadian extradition law.

"No one should face punishment of another country for conduct that is not a crime in Canada. The allegations against Miss Meng are based on violations of unilateral sanctions imposed by the US for financial services in Iran. Canada does not impose any such sanctions," Howes said. 

"Therefore, transactions conducted with the bank do not pose any risk of breaking Canadian law and would not result in any risks with the bank in question."

See: Huawei tests 5G downloads in China as government due to issue licenses

Separately, Meng is also seeking a stay of extradition proceedings on several grounds, including allegations that she was denied her constitutional rights when the Canada Border Service Agency had taken her electronic devices and viewed its contents under the pretense that it was routine immigration check before she was arrested, and that there is no evidence that Meng misled any financial institution at any time, according to Bloomberg.

"The powerpoint presented by her in August 2013 in Hong Kong to a foreign bank was not misleading. Banking officials have full knowledge of the nature of the issues at hand and their judgment related to theses issues do not hinge on her presentations. In addition, the bank had full knowledge of the nature of Skycom's business and operation in Iran, and the bank understood the relationship between Huawei and Skycom," Howes said.

Meng is also alleging that the United States' actions are politically motivated, citing comments by US President Donald Trump.

While the Huawei CFO's challenge to her extradition is set for a hearing at 20 January, Meng's lawyers will bring a disclosure motion in September to seek more records relevant to how she was treated at the airport on before her arrest on 1 December.

These allegations are similar to ones that were made by the Huawei CFO in a civil lawsuit in March.

Meng, who is also the daughter of the founder of Huawei, is currently on bail in Vancouver. 

See: Huawei files motion against US declaring law as 'unconstitutional'

Tensions between Huawei and the United States have been running high, especially after the US government put the company on its Entity List, which requires US companies to gain approval from government to sell equipment to Huawei, effectively banning any interactions between US firms and Huawei.

Shortly after Huawei was put onto the Entity List, Google pulled Android support from Huawei. UK semiconductor giant Arm has also instructed its employees to suspend work with Huawei, while Taiwanese telcos Chunghwa Telecom and Taiwan Mobile and Japanese telcos SoftBank and KDDI have pulled back the sale of Huawei's new handsets due to Google's decision.

Updated at 1:54pm AEST, 7 June 2019: added Huawei comments.  


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