Lawyers urge Canada to stop Huawei CFO’s extradition to U.S.

Request follows Jean Chretien’s comment that it would lead to release of two Canadians held in China

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou arrives back at her home after a court appearance in Vancouver, on Wednesday March 6, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Defence lawyers for a senior Huawei executive have asked Canada’s foreign affairs minister to stop the extradition process against their client, saying the U.S. request was for political purposes, not legitimate law enforcement reasons.

Meng Wanzhou’s lawyers say in a statement they decided to deliver written submissions to Chrystia Freeland following former prime minister Jean Chretien’s comments that withdrawing extradition proceedings would improve relations with China and win the release of two Canadians being held there.

Freeland has rejected Chretien’s view, which was reported in the Globe and Mail based on anonymous sources, saying heeding to external pressure in a single case would set a dangerous precedent that could make Canadians less safe around the world.

In the statement released Monday, Meng’s lawyers say Canada is at a “crossroads” regarding the United States’ request to extradite Meng to face a fraud trial for alleged conduct that would not be an offence in Canada.

Meng was arrested at Vancouver’s airport last December and a B.C. Supreme Court judge has accepted her defence team’s plan for the start of an extradition hearing in January, which would conclude in about 16 months.

The U.S. Department of Justice laid charges of conspiracy, fraud and obstruction of justice against Meng and Huawei, alleging they misled a bank about Huawei’s ownership of a subsidiary called Skycom in an effort to circumvent U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Both Meng and Huawei have denied any wrongdoing.

READ MORE: RCMP, CBSA deny searching Meng Wanzhou’s phones and other devices

Her defence team says the extradition proceedings are unprecedented.

“What is most glaring about the extradition request is that the conduct alleged against Ms. Meng could never ground a criminal prosecution in Canada,” the lawyers say in the statement.

“Canada does not police the conduct of foreign persons in foreign lands that have nothing to do with Canada.”

They say all the allegations relevant to the extradition request occurred in Hong Kong, involving Meng, a foreign national, and a foreign bank.

“None of the conduct occurred in the United States or Canada. No alleged victim resided in Canada. No aspect of any fact violated any Canadian law.”

The statement from Meng’s legal team says the United States has stood alone since May 2018 in maintaining strict sanction laws against Iran, which neither Canada nor any of its allies support.

Meng remains under house arrest at one of her two Vancouver homes and has filed a separate civil lawsuit against the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich Peninsula steps into post-pandemic phase

Pending partial re-opening of local schools signals new start

Craft vendors allowed to re-join Goldstream Farmers Market

Dr. Bonnie Henry lightens restrictions, approves non-food items to be sold

Three people sent to hospital following serious crash in View Royal

Incident involved a motorcycle and one vehicle on Sunday afternoon

Saanich high school student wins free educational trip through Europe

Beaverbrook Vimy Prize centers on First, Second World War history

Province recognizes three Greater Victoria residents for work to combat racism

The three residents were recognized during the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

B.C.’s Central Kootenay region declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders

The evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Man dies in ATV accident south of Nanaimo

Incident happened on backroad Friday night in Nanaimo Lakes area

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read