A Canadian court Monday began a hearing on whether a senior Huawei executive should be extradited to stand trial in the U.S. on charges of bank fraud and sanctions violations. The hearing is scheduled to run four days, but a ruling could take months.
Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and the daughter of Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in late 2018 in Vancouver on the requested of the U.S. The American government seeks to try her on charges of fraud related to her dealings with HBSC Holdings Plc over transactions linked to Iran. After her arrest she was released on $10 million bail but has to stay in Vancouver under house arrest.
At the hearing, Meng’s lawyers said she shouldn’t be extradited because her alleged crimes don’t meet Canada’s legal tests for extradition. Huawei issued a video statement on Twitter with spokesman Benjamin Howes saying Huawei has confidence that Canada’s judicial system will prove Meng’s innocence.
Meng’s arrest has created a rift between China and Canada. Beijing on Monday repeated its calls for Canada to release Meng.
“This is entirely a serious political incident that abuses bilateral extradition treaties between Canada and the U.S., grossly violating the legitimate rights and interests of a Chinese citizen,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a routine press conference.
Contact reporter Denise Jia (firstname.lastname@example.org)