China: US, Canada violate legitimate rights

Meng Wanzhou

Meng Wanzhou , Bloomberg

He sacked his ambassador to China in January for suggesting that Meng had a "strong case" against extradition, citing remarks by US President Donald Trump that he might seek to have the charges against Meng dropped in exchange for trade concessions from China.

Canada arrested Meng, the daughter of Huawei's founder, on December 1.

No date was set, but Meng's lawyers were able to delay extradition proceedings to September when it will be determined if the prosecution needs to disclose more evidence to the defense.

The U.S. and China have tried to keep Meng's case separate from their trade dispute, although Trump has said he would consider intervening in the case if it would help forge a trade deal with Beijing. They also plan to question "double criminality", disputing that what the USA alleges she did - lied to banks to trick them into conducting transactions for Huawei that may have violated US sanctions - constitutes a crime in Canada. "We have maintained that her USA -ordered arrest was an unlawful abuse of process - one guided by political considerations and tactics, not by the rule of law".

Following her arrest, China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian businessman Michael Spavor in what observers saw as retaliation.

Meng defense lawyer Scott Fenton told the court that during her three-hour detention in December, Meng's rights "were placed in total suspension".

Howes said the allegations against Meng are untrue and said the business activities of Meng were conducted openly and transparently with the full knowledge of banking officials.

An executive at China's biggest telecommunications firm, Meng was released on C$10 million ($7.4 million) bail in December and is living with her husband and youngest daughter at one of the family's two luxury homes in Vancouver. Her lawyers filed a civil claim against Canada's authorities, border agency and police for "severe breaches" of her civil rights earlier this yr.

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China has accused Canada of abetting "a political persecution" against its biggest technology company and has demanded the release of Meng.

At Wednesday's 10am hearing before Justice Heather Holmes of the British Columbia Supreme Court, Meng's lawyers are set to discuss motions they plan to bring, according to Daniel Coles, a lawyer who acted on behalf of media companies to oppose an initial publication ban on the case.

The finance chief's lawyers are also seeking additional disclosure about the details of the USA case.

"From the beginning, Huawei has expressed extreme confidence in Ms. Meng's innocence".

Washington wants to put Meng on trial on fraud charges for allegedly violating Iran sanctions and lying about it to U.S. banks. And her charter rights were seriously and repeatedly violated when she was arrested and detained, which was a coordinated effort of the Canadian police, the border agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Huawei's chief financial officer may still be under house arrest in Canada but she's on the move - to her newly renovated $13 million mansion.

Meng arrived at court on Wednesday wearing an elegant full-length black and grey weave-pattern dress, with the ankle monitor prominently visible.

Meng is now free under private guard on $7.4 million bail.

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