Vancouver Airport (AFP)
The chief financial officer of Chinese technology company Huawei returns to a Canadian court on Wednesday for a final round of deportation to the United States, after nearly three years of court wars and diplomatic clashes.
Meng Wancho, the daughter of the company’s founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, is fighting to be deported to the United States, where she wants to be prosecuted for bank fraud and conspiracy to do illegal business through a subsidiary in Iran.
If she is sent to the United States for trial, she could face up to 30 years in prison.
His arrest at the request of the United States during a stop in Vancouver in December 2018 sparked a major diplomatic confrontation between Ottawa and Beijing.
Meng is due to appear in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on Wednesday for a two-week trial.
The 49-year-old denies the allegations and his bodyguards say the authorities in Canada and the United States are denying him the right to due process, so the extradition should be denied.
In June, his lawyer, Mark Chandler, argued. “There is no credible case,” he added.
– “Unsubstantiated Allegations” –
Meng has been accused of misrepresenting the relationship between Hawaii and Skycom, a subsidiary selling telecommunications equipment to Iran, and defrauding Swiss bank HSBC. The bank was at risk of violating US sanctions against Tehran by authorizing US dollar transactions for Huawei.
But her bodyguards say the United States has no authority in the case and her client’s rights are not respected. The process has taken several turns in the nearly three years since he was arrested.
The defense also argues that 10 days after his arrest, then-President Donald Trump “poisoned” the process by saying he could intervene in the case in exchange for trade concessions from China.
Meng was on full-time surveillance ankle at his mansion on the west coast of Canada.
Canada Meng’s testimonies and allegations “can only be prosecuted before a US judge” and are not part of a normal extradition procedure.
Robert Frater, counsel for the Attorney General of Canada, said:
The lawsuit was probably funded by Beijing and Ottawa. Canada was left under control between China and the United States.
A few days after Meng’s arrest, the Chinese government imprisoned two Canadians on espionage charges. In the case of Canada, the arrests were in retaliation for Meng’s arrest, which Beijing denies.
The Canadians, a former diplomat and businessman, were being tried, but the verdicts are not yet known.
China has blocked the purchase of billions of dollars in Canadian agricultural products.
Both Beijing and Hawaii, which supply the world’s largest telecommunications equipment, have denied US allegations.
Beijing said the first goal of Meng’s arrest was to weaken Chinese technology companies, calling the case “a serious political incident.”
The final hearing is scheduled for August 20, but the decision could take several weeks and any appeal of the sentence would extend the process in Canada.
21 2021 AFP
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