China calls on Canada to free Huawei CFO

Sunday, 09 Dec, 2018

During her bail hearing on Friday, a prosecutor for the Canadian government said USA charges against her have to do with Huawei using an unofficial subsidiary to access the Iran market in dealings that would contravene US sanctions.

The case against Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of the founder of Huawei, stems from a 2013 Reuters report 131 about the company's close ties to Hong Kong-based Skycom Tech Co Ltd, which attempted to sell U.S. equipment to Iran despite USA and European Union bans, the prosecutor told a Vancouver court.

If extradited to the USA, she could face charges of "conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions", which holds a "maximum sentence of 30 years for each charge", Reuters reported.

China says Meng - the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer in China's People's Liberation Army - has violated no laws in Canada or the United States and has demanded her release.

The case was adjourned until Monday by Justice William Ehrcke to allow the defence more time to complete its submissions.

He said Meng met with an executive of a bank and delivered a PowerPoint presentation in which she said Huawei had sold its shares in Skycom in 2009 and she was no longer a member of its board.

Gibb-Carsley told the B.C. Supreme Court hearing that Reuters reported in 2013 that Huawei was operating Skycom and had attempted to import US -manufactured computer equipment into Iran in violation of sanctions.

SkyCom's alleged sanctions breaches occurred from 2009 to 2014, according to AFP. Meng also faces possible extradition from Canada.

"The allegations contained in this document do not support a prima facie case of fraud against Ms. Meng, let alone against Huawei", he said.

Le said Canada's arrest of Meng while she was changing plane in Vancouver was a serious breach of her lawful rights.

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Should a judge agree to extradite Meng, she would have multiple chances to appeal the decision.

Yesterday's court hearing is meant to decide on whether Meng can post bail or if she is a flight risk and should be kept in detention.

A Canadian prosecutor urged a Vancouver court to deny bail to a Chinese executive at the heart of a case that is shaking up US-China relations and worrying global financial markets.

China has condemned the detention of Ms Meng denying she had violated Chinese or USA laws while Huawei said it "has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng".

A Huawei spokesman said on Friday the company has "every confidence that the Canadian and USA legal systems will reach the right conclusion".

Although there are some waivers, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said the US will "aggressively" target any firm or organisation "evading our sanctions".

The re-imposed sanctions hit oil exports, shipping and banks - all core parts of Iran's economy. Countries that have rejected the company's technology include Japan, which said in recent days it would ban government purchases of Huawei (as well as ZTE) technology.

"The Chinese are well aware of John's seniority", she said.

Chinese state-run media said the arrest was part of U.S. efforts to curtail China's tech industry. But the extradition process could drag on for months.

Martin added that Meng was willing to surrender her two valid passports to the RCMP.