Canada okays Huawei CFO's extradition process

Saul Bowman
March 4, 2019

"There is sufficient evidence to be put before an extradition judge for decision", the statement said.

The date of the extradition hearing has been scheduled for March 6 by the provincial Supreme Court of British Columbia.

Huawei's CFO, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested and detained in Vancouver in December of previous year accused of fraudulent activity.

Meng Wanzhou has been under house arrest since December a year ago in a case involving alleged bank fraud committed by Meng on behalf of the Huawei Corporation.

"The decision follows a thorough and diligent review of the evidence in this case", according to the statement. Nonetheless, he ordered Diab to be handed over, saying Canada's extradition law left him no choice. Ultimately, Canada's justice minister must decide if Meng is extradited.

The U.S. role adds another layer of complexity. Thus, it's likely that Meng's seemingly inevitable trial in the U.S. will result in a guilty sentence, further ruining Huawei's relationship with the Western world.

In a statement on Saturday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said that Beijing "deplores and firmly opposes the Canadian side's obstinately moving forward the so-called judicial process". Canada has signed an extradition treaty with Washington.

China, whose relations with Canada have deteriorated badly over the affair, denounced the decision and repeated previous demands for Meng's release. Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor remain in China with limited consular visits.

"Today, officials of the Canadian Department of Justice issued an authorization to start formally thwe process of extradition in the case of Mrs. Meng Wanzhou", said a communiqué.

Border officers also questioned Meng and the claim alleges that the "specific nature of the questions" was informed by documentation or briefings from Canadian and/or American authorities familiar with the USA charges facing Meng.

"This is not a merely judicial case, but a political persecution against a Chinese high-tech enterprise", the embassy said. Meng is also one of the vice chairpersons on Huawei's board of directors.

The US is meanwhile reportedly pressuring its allies to stop using Huawei's equipment amid concerns that the Chinese government may have back door access to it, allowing them to monitor phone calls and other communications.

U.S. President Donald Trump told Reuters in December he would intervene if it served national security interests or helped close a trade deal with China, prompting Ottawa to stress the extradition process should not be politicized. "We once again urge the U.S. to immediately withdraw the arrest warrant and extradition request for Meng Wanzhou", said Lu, adding that the two countries should immediately release Meng and allow her a safe passage to China.

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