US intends to formally extradite Huawei CFO from Canada

The US has informed the Canadian government that it will file a formal request to extradite Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou on allegations of violating US sanctions.

The US confirmed plans to proceed with the formal extradition from Canada of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, Canada's ambassador to the United States David MacNaughton said on Tuesday.
 
David MacNaughton, in an interview with a Canadian newspaper, said the US has told Canada it will request Meng's extradition, but did not say when the request will be made.
 
The deadline for filing an extradition request is January 30, 60 days after Meng was arrested on December 1 in Vancouver.
 
Once a formal request has been filed, a Canadian court will have 30 days to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support extradition. If the Court believes there is enough evidence to extradite, the Canadian minister of justice will issue a formal order to do so.
 
The US has accused Meng of misleading multinational banks about Huawei's control of a company operating in Iran. Huawei allegedly used a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment in Iran, in breach of US trade sanctions, and misled banks about its business dealings in Iran.
 
Meng was released on bail in Vancouver last month, where she owns two homes, while waiting to learn if she will be extradited to the United States. She is due in court in Vancouver on February 6, 2019.
 
Relations between China and Canada have turned frosty after the arrest, with Global Affairs Canada earlier this month confirming the number of Canadians detained in China had risen to thirteen. Since the arrest, China has also sentenced to death a Canadian man previously found guilty of drug smuggling.
 
In Monday's interview, MacNaughton said he had complained to the US that Canada was suffering from Chinese revenge for an arrest made at the US's request. "We don't like that it is our citizens who are being punished," the Globe and Mail quoted MacNaughton as saying.
 
"[The Americans] are the ones seeking to have the full force of American law brought against [Meng] and yet we are the ones who are paying the price. Our citizens are."
 
Meanwhile, China's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday reiterated calls for Meng's immediate release and said her case clearly was "not a regular judicial case".
 
Anyone with fair judgment would determine that Canada made a "serious mistake" in this matter, ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.
 
"Canada and the United States arbitrarily abused their bilateral extradition treaty to seriously infringe upon a Chinese citizen's security and legal rights," Hua added.
 
When asked if China would retaliate against the United States if Meng is extradited, Hua said, "China will, of course, respond to US actions."
 
In December, Huawei Chairman Ken Hu said any evidence against the company should be revealed.
 
"If you have proof and evidence, it should be made public, maybe not to the general public, not to Huawei," he said. "But at the very least, it should be made known to telecom operators, because it's telecom operators who are going to buy from Huawei."

"When it comes to security allegations, it's best to let the facts speak for themselves. And the fact is: Huawei's record on security is clean," he said.

Tensions between China and the US have continued to bubble, with a bipartisan group of US lawmakers last week introducing a Bill that, if passed, would ban the sale of tech to Huawei and ZTE.
 
US prosecutors are also pursuing a criminal investigation into Huawei for reportedly stealing trade secrets and misappropriating technology from its US partners, according to The Wall Street Journal.

There has also been growing sentiment among western countries to avoid working with Huawei, with the Chinese company's 5G so far being banned or limited by the US, Australia, and New Zealand, while the UK's BT said it would be stripping Huawei from EE's mobile core. The German government also announced on Thursday that it is considering ways to exclude Huawei form its 5G auction.

Earlier this month, Poland's Internal Affairs Minister Joachim Brudzinski floated the idea of a Huawei ban across NATO or the EU in the wake of the arrest of a former Huawei employee and former Polish security official over spying allegations. 

With criticism mounting against Huawei, its founder Ren Zhengfei last week attempted to assuage concerns surrounding the company, stating that he would rather shut it all down than damage the interests of customers for its own gain.

"Huawei is an independent business organisation. When it comes to cybersecurity and privacy protection, we are committed to siding with our customers … neither Huawei, nor I personally, have ever received any requests from any government to provide improper information,"  

Looking ahead, Ren said he expects Huawei to post $125 billion in revenue for 2019.

In its most recent results for the first half of 2018, Huawei posted $48 billion in revenue.

With AAP  

RELATED COVERAGE