The case of extradition of financial director Huawei Meng Wanzhou from Canada to the United States can continue, judge the rules

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U.S. prosecutors want Meng to be tried on multiple charges, including bank fraud and violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran.
The decision to pursue the case could have enormous political implications for Canada, the United States and China. The Chinese government called the sentence a “serious political accident” in a declaration published Wednesday at the Chinese embassy in Ottawa’s official Twitter account.
Following a four-day hearing in Vancouver’s Supreme Court in January, Holmes said Wednesday that the US charges meet the main Canadian double crime extradition standard, which examines whether the country’s alleged behavior requires extradition can be considered a crime under Canadian law. The double crime standard is a preliminary step in the case of extradition; Now that the judge has ruled that Meng has been reached, Meng’s case can proceed.

The sentence does not determine Meng’s guilt or innocence, but only if his actions it would be considered a crime under Canadian law. Meng and Huawei have denied the U.S. accusations.

Meng also said she was illegally detained, searched and interrogated by Canadian border officials during her arrest, claims that her lawyers claim invalidate the extradition case against him. These requests will be considered by the court in the next hearings this summer as the extradition case proceeds.

The Canadian Department of Justice said in a statement Wednesday that another hearing later this year “will determine whether or not the alleged conduct provides sufficient evidence of the crime of fraud to meet the test to commit under the Extradition Act.” .

“An independent judge will determine whether this test is met,” reads the statement. “This speaks to the independence of Canada’s extradition process.”

Huawei is “disappointed” with the ruling, according to a declaration the company posted on Twitter on Wednesday.

“We expect the Canadian judicial system will eventually prove Ms. Meng’s innocence,” says the statement.

The case of extradition

Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested on request of the United States in December 2018 at Vancouver airport, where he had to deliver his passports and agree to live in one of the two houses he owns in the city.

U.S. authorities want Meng to be extradited to New York to address federal charges related to allegations of lying to the HSBC bank regarding Huawei’s relations with its Iran-based affiliate Skycom in order to receive funding that violates economic sanctions. United States against Iran. In February, the United States government added racketeering and conspiracy to steal the trade secret charges against the prosecution. Huawei has also denied the new allegations.
The charges are from one of several active cases against Huawei in the U.S.

During the January hearing, Meng’s attorneys argued that what she is accused of does not violate Canadian law, because the accusations of the United States depend on sanctions against Iran that do not exist in Canada. But prosecutors in the Canadian attorney general’s office have argued that the charges, which include lying to a bank with the potential to cause losses, amount to Canadian fraud and that Meng should therefore be committed to extradition.

“Lying to a bank to obtain financial services that create a risk of economic harm is fraud,” said Attorney General’s attorney Robert Frater during the January hearing, adding that the actions put HSBC at risk of US sanctions for sanctions violations and damage to reputation.

The judge’s Wednesday ruling came to a similar conclusion. Holmes wrote in the ruling that Meng’s argument that double crime was not met due to the application of US sanctions “would give fraud an artificially restricted scope in the context of extradition.”

Holmes added: “In this case it is possible to meet the double crime requirement for extradition. The effects of U.S. sanctions can properly play a role in the analysis of double crime as part of the background or context in which the alleged is being investigated. conduct. “

A spokesman for the United States Department of Justice stated in a statement on the ruling that “the United States would like to thank the government of Canada for its continued assistance under the current US / Canada extradition treaty in this matter.”

A “serious political accident”

The extradition case led Canada to political tensions between the United States and China.

The Chinese embassy in Ottawa Released to statement on Wednesday urging Canada to free Meng.

“By abusing their bilateral extradition treaty and arbitrarily taking effective measures against Ms. Meng Wanzhou, the United States and Canada have seriously violated the rights and legal interests of that Chinese citizen,” says the embassy’s statement in part.

The embassy accused the United States of attempting to “bring down Huawei and other high-tech Chinese companies”, adding that Canada acted “as an accomplice to the United States”. The U.S. has taken several actions to hinder Huawei’s business in the past year and a half, while the country is intertwined with China on several fronts, from trade and technology to politics.

“The whole case is a serious political accident” the embassy added, urging Canada “not to go beyond the wrong path”.

The extradition process was complicated after two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, were arrested in China in December 2019. Beijing has accused of espionage and denies that their arrests are related to Meng’s case, but have been seen in Canada as a form of retaliation.

“We have seen China link these two cases from the beginning. Canada has an independent judicial system, which works without interference or overriding by politicians” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday ahead of the ruling in Meng’s case. “China is not functioning in the same way and does not seem to understand that we have a judicial system independent of political intervention. We will continue to support the independence of our judicial system while supporting the release of the 2 Michaels.”

Other Canadian officials, including Foreign Minister Fran├žois-Philippe Champagne, also stressed the independence of the country’s judicial system as the Meng case makes its way through the courts.

“We will continue to pursue a principled commitment with China to face our bilateral differences and cooperate in areas of mutual interest”, Champagne She said.

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