Crime & Justice

Canada judge excludes evidence undermining US charges against Huawei’s Meng

Toronto, Jul 9 (EFE).- The Canadian judge who will rule on the request from the United States to extradite Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou said Friday that she will not admit evidence appearing to discredit Washington’s charges against the Chinese executive.

Heather Holmes, a justice of the British Columbia provincial Supreme Court sided with the Canadian prosecutors, who argued that the evidence was irrelevant to the extradition process.

Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, was detained by Canada on Dec. 1, 2018, during a stopover in Vancouver en route from Hong Kong to Mexico City.

She is accused of violating US sanctions on Iran by misleading HSBC bank about the business her company allegedly conducted in that country through a subsidiary called Skycom.

But internal documents handed over by HSBC prove that officials at the London-based bank were fully aware of Huawei’s connection to Skycom, Huawei Canada’s vice president for corporate affairs, Alykhan Velshi, said this week in an interview with Efe.

“The only fraud” is the one the US has perpetrated at Meng’s expense, Velshi said.

Meng, now 49, was released on bail 10 days after her arrest and resides with her family in one of the two mansions she owns in Vancouver. She is required to wear a GPS ankle bracelet and pay for her own 24/7 surveillance.

After Meng’s arrest, China froze diplomatic and trade relations with Canada and accused Ottawa of violating the human rights of one of its citizens.

Beijing also detained two Canadian citizens – former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor – on allegations of endangering China’s national security.

The two men were tried in March on charges of acquiring and selling state secrets to “foreign forces,” but China has yet to announce a verdict or sentence.

The trials took place behind closed doors and Canada has repeatedly denounced the arrest and prosecution of Kovrig and Spavor as “arbitrary.” EFE jcr/dr

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