New hearing on Wednesday for Huawei CFO accused of fraud

World Today

A Huawei executive who was fighting extradition to the United States returns to court in Vancouver, Canada, on Wednesday. Meng Wanzhou was arrested back in December and confined to the city.

Her detention had created tensions between China and Washington, and also Canada. Meng is the daughter of Huawei’s founder, and China said the U.S. is targeting her for political reasons.

CGTN’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports from Vancouver.

Meng Wanzhou was due to be at British Columbia Supreme Court Wednesday morning for another hearing related to her ongoing extradition case. She and her lawyers were fighting extradition, trying to stop Canada from sending her to the United States, where she’s charged with fraud and conspiring to violate sanctions on Iran.

Just as with a hearing back in March, Wednesday’s hearing was expected to be administrative in nature. According to the court, future hearing dates will be set, there may be some minor bail amendments that will be taken up.

Meng currently wears an ankle monitor to keep track of her whereabouts and is confined to the Vancouver area. She and her husband own two homes there. The Crown, or the attorney general, could provide the government’s official record of the case. The main focus was expected to be on what are called pre-hearing applications, which are points the defense, in this case attorney David Martin, plans to raise during an extradition hearing, their main grounds for arguing that Meng’s arrest was improper and unlawful.

Extradition lawyer Gary Botting, who was not involved with this case, believed are there are a number of troubling issues.”David has a chance to make it very clear that we’re ultimately going to be looking at very political issues here, we’re going to be looking at abuse of process here, we’re going to be looking at the way this has impacted on this hearing,” Botting said. “And that’s relevant to the judge, and we’re going to be seeing how search and seizure matters have been violated.”

Botting said America’s political motivations will be a central part of the defense. And whether the U.S. even had jurisdiction to request Meng’s arrest. Botting said the Crown had a pretty low bar to clear to justify extradition in a case like this. He added that Canada’s Extradition Act gave a lot of weight to the state. So, her lawyers had their work cut out for them. The Court said the appearance may be as brief as half an hour.