Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou appears in Canadian courtroom

World Today

Huawei Chief Financial Officer, Meng WanzhouHuawei Chief Financial Officer, Meng Wanzhou, leaves her Vancouver home to appear in British Columbia Supreme Court, in Vancouver, on September 23, 2019. (Photo by Don MacKinnon / AFP)

Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou arrived at a Canadian courtroom on Monday along with her lawyers to press for more details surrounding her arrest at Vancouver’s airport nearly 10 months ago.

CGTN’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports.

Meng, 47, was detained on Dec. 1, 2018 at the request of the United States, where she is charged with bank fraud and accused of misleading HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA.L) about Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s business in Iran. Meng has said she is innocent and is fighting extradition to the U.S.

Meng’s lawyers argue she was unlawfully detained, searched and questioned for over three hours after she landed on a flight from Hong Kong.

At Monday’s hearing before Justice Heather Holmes of the British Columbia Supreme Court, attorney Richard Peck alleged Canadian authorities delayed Meng’s arrest in an effort to collect evidence for U.S. authorities, conducting a “covert criminal investigation” in the process.

Peck also suggested Meng’s electronic devices were improperly searched at the airport. Peck said these actions violated his client’s civil rights, an “abuse of process” the defense believes should halt her extradition proceedings.

Meng’s defense team is also requesting more disclosure surrounding her detention at the airport, including video and contacts between U.S. and Canadian authorities, which her lawyers claim were extensive prior to her eventual arrest.

The arrest has strained China’s relations with both the United States and Canada.

Besides accusations of misconduct related to her detention, Meng’s lawyers argue the United States is using her for for economic and political gain, noting that after her arrest, U.S. President Donald Trump said he would intervene if it would help close a trade deal.

Lawyers for Canada will respond to the demand for more information about Meng’s arrest in court, according to a Canadian Department of Justice spokesman, who added that Meng had already been provided with “extensive disclosure, beyond what is required.”

These hearings are scheduled to last through October 4th. Meng’s extradition hearing is currently scheduled to start in January, 2020.