Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou appears in court in Canada as US seeks extradition

Global Business

Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou appears in court in Canada as US seeks extraditionThe Vancouver Law Courts on January 29, 2019, in Vancouver, Canada. – Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and the daughter of its founder, was due to appear in a Canadian court for a bail review Tuesday (Photo by Don MacKinnon / AFP)

Huawei’s chief financial Officer Meng Wanzhou will find out in March whether a Canadian judge approves of extradition proceedings to transfer her to the U.S.  

She appeared in a Vancouver court Tuesday – as she faces charges of bank and wire fraud in the United States. She denies any wrongdoing. 

CGTN’s Dan Williams has the story from Ottawa. 

A return to a Vancouver court for Meng Wanzhou.  There, she was told that the Canadian government has received a formal request for her extradition to the U.S.  Her next court appearance is set for March the 6th. If a judge commits Meng for extradition for charges of bank fraud and wire fraud, Justice Minister David Lametti would then have to decide whether to proceed. 

“The Americans have time limits and they have clearly manifested their intention to move forward with an extradition proceeding in Canada. It is shielded from me as I will only intervene if and when there is actually an order from a judge to extradite,” said David Lametti, Canadian Justice Minister.

Huawei was also the main point of questioning in Ottawa,  as Canadian Cabinet members arrived for a meeting. 

“We are focused on fulfilling our international obligations which is making sure that the rule of law is consistently and integrity applied. We are working through the rule of law and making sure the law is always respected,” said Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister.

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice formally laid out 13 criminal charges against Huawei and Meng Wanzhou, including bank fraud, obstruction of justice and theft of technology.  Huawei denies any wrongdoing.  

The concern for Canada is that the extradition process could be a lengthy one, with the potential of a drawn-out appeals process.  If that is the case, there is a fear that could put a further strain on relations between Canada and China.

“It is absolutely the case that we face a challenging situation with regard to China now. It is absolutely the case that our government is extremely focused on addressing that situation with China,” said Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister.

But some cabinet ministers remain confident relations will withstand the current strain. 

“This is a relationship of long standing.  Our interest is to make sure that lines of communication are open and there are business people doing business in China and there are business people increasingly doing business in other parts of the world,”  Jim Carr, Canada Minister of International Trade Diversification said. 

Adding to Canada’s to-do list is the appointment of a new ambassador to China – after John McCallum was asked to resign over the weekend.  A decision on a successor has yet to be made. 

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