Lawyers for Huawei CFO call Canada prosecutor's
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[January 18, 2020] By
Tessa Vikander and Moira Warburton
VANCOUVER/TORONTO (Reuters) - Extraditing
Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou to the United States based
on American sanctions against Iran would set a dangerous precedent and
could even undermine Canada's policy towards Iran, Meng's lawyers argued
in court documents released on Friday.
Meng, 47, was arrested at the Vancouver International Airport on Dec. 1,
2018, at the request of the United States, where she is charged with
bank fraud and accused of misleading the bank HSBC <HSBA.L> about Huawei
Technologies' business in Iran. Meng has said she is innocent and is
Canada's attorney general said in submissions released last week that
Meng was being extradited because she fraudulently mislead HSBC, and
that U.S. sanctions should be taken into account as contributing to the
legal environment in which the fraud took place - not as a reason for
Meng's team called the attorney general's argument "circular," arguing
that because prosecutors relied on U.S. sanctions to establish a risk of
economic deprivation in both countries, "American law becomes Canadian
law. Double criminality becomes single criminality."
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Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou leaves her home to
attend a case management conference in advance of her extradition
hearing at B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
January 17, 2020. REUTERS/Jennifer Gauthier
They wrote that allowing the attorney general to use U.S. sanctions as a reason
to extradite set a dangerous precedent, because it would "interfere with the
(Canadian) government's prerogative in foreign affairs ... In a democratic
society, important public policy choices are best made in the elected
legislative assembly rather than by judicial actors."
Meng appeared in court on Friday for the first time in several months, for a
case management conference to schedule hearings addressing the Canadian attorney
general's claims of privilege on releasing some documents requested by Meng's
Wearing dark slacks and sipping from a pink thermos, Meng appeared calm but
serious, refraining from waving to journalists as she has while entering the
courtroom on other occasions.
The first phase of the extradition hearing will begin on Monday in a federal
court in Vancouver.
(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto and Tessa Vikander in Vancouver;
Editing by Marguerita Choy)
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