Chief financial officer of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou arrives at the British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Jan. 29, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Meng’s defence team argues for admission of evidence to bolster its case

Meng’s defence team argues for admission of evidence to bolster its case

VANCOUVER — Staff at international bank HSBC were well aware of telecom giant Huawei’s control of another company whose business in Iran lies at the heart of fraud allegations against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, the British Columbia Supreme Court heard Monday.

Frank Addario, one of Meng’s defence lawyers, told the court that the United States has provided the B.C. Supreme Court with a “manifestly unreliable” description of the case against her and said he has evidence to prove it.

Addario is asking the judge to admit affidavits including emails and bank account information into evidence to support the defence team’s case at Meng’s committal hearing, scheduled for May.

“We have evidence showing the picture painted for you about (HSBC’s) global risk committee’s state of knowledge is unreliable and misleading,” Addario said.

Meng is accused of misrepresenting Huawei’s relationship with Skycom during a 2013 meeting with HSBC, putting the bank at risk of violating U.S. sanctions in Iran. Meng and Huawei deny the allegations.

She was arrested at Vancouver’s airport in 2018 at the request of the United States and remains in Canada on bail while the extradition process is underway.

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general, who represent the United States in the case, will begin their response to the evidence application this afternoon.

Addario acknowledged that extradition hearings are not the place for “credibility contests,” nor do extradition judges typically weigh competing accounts of what happened.

However, he said it’s important that the Canadian court not make any decisions based on misleading information from the requesting state.

“Although your powers are limited, there are cases where the inference is so dubious or the evidence is so unreliable that you must admit contrary evidence,” he said.

Addario told the court at least a dozen emails prove HSBC staff “fully knew” that Skycom was sold to Canicula Holdings in 2007, that Canicula was Skycom’s parent company and that Huawei controlled the Canicula accounts.

A senior banker overseeing HSBC’s relationship with Huawei was also included on several emails describing Canicula “in terms that can only be understood as Huawei controlling the account,” he said.

Other evidence Meng’s team wants admitted is a listing of 188 Huawei bank accounts at HSBC from 2011 showing that two were named “Skycom” and “Canicula.”

“The relationship between these three entities was open knowledge,” Addario said.

This week marks the beginning of about seven weeks of argument between March and May in Meng’s case.

Ahead of the actual extradition or committal hearing, Meng’s team will argue proceedings should be stayed because she was subjected to an abuse of process.

The team alleges the abuses occurred in four different ways and if any is proven, then Meng should be released.

The first branch of the abuse of process arguments begins this week and hinges on public comments made by former U.S. president Donald Trump during his time in office.

Meng’s team alleges Trump used her as a bargaining chip in trade negotiations with China, but Canada’s attorney general has countered that the argument is irrelevant now that Trump is out of office.

The court will also consider arguments that Meng’s arrest at Vancouver’s airport on Dec. 1, 2018, was unlawful, that the United States misled Canadian officials in its summary of the allegations against her and that the case doesn’t qualify under international law because Meng had no meaningful connection to the United States.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021.

Amy Smart, The Canadian Press

Meng extradition

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Alberta vaccine rollout expanding to front-line health-care workers

More than 240,000 eligible health-care workers can begin booking vaccine appointments starting… Continue reading

File photo
The Red Deer Rebels will have three new assistant coaches when the WHL regular season starts on Friday. Brad Flynn (left), will be on the bench alongside fellow assistant Ryan Colville (right) head coach Brent Sutter (middle). (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Sutter steps down as Red Deer Rebels head coach

Red Deer Rebels Owner, GM and head coach Brent Sutter has stepped… Continue reading

Premier Jason Kenney announced $200 million more money that will benefit seniors living in continuing care on Wednesday. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s in-school rapid screening test program expanding

Alberta’s in-school rapid screening test program will expand to as many as… Continue reading

Parents and students learned Tuesday what the coming school year will look like. It's pretty much back to business as usual, said Education Minister Adriana LaGrange. School precautions include frequent cleaning, keeping students in the same groups where possible, planning the school day to allow for physical distancing and staying home when sick. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s largest school board says no to United Conservative draft school curriculum

CALGARY — Alberta’s largest school board says it will not use the… Continue reading

Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan is among those who have signed an open letter criticizing the government’s return to stricter health measures. (Advocate file photo).
Updated: Kenney tells UCP caucus COVID-19 dissent OK, breaking health rules means expulsion

15 MLAs released letter on Wednesday critical of new health restrictions

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau watches a speaker appear by videoconference during a news conference in Ottawa, Friday, April 9, 2021. Grassroots Liberals have overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution calling on the federal government to develop and implement a universal basic income — despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's apparent lack of enthusiasm for the idea. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau winds up Liberal convention with election campaign-style speech

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau wound up a three-day Liberal convention Saturday with… Continue reading

Team Canada skip Brendan Bottcher makes a shot against Italy at the Men's World Curling Championships in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, April 6, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Men’s world curling championship in Calgary in COVID limbo

CALGARY — The men’s world curling championship in Calgary remained suspended Saturday… Continue reading

Pipes intended for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline are shown in Gascoyne, N.D. on Wednesday April 22, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta
Non-profit Quebec law centre to aid environmental group targeted by Alberta oil firm

QUEBEC — The Quebec Environmental Law Centre is coming to the aid… Continue reading

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservatives cite empathy, relationships as ways to help expand their movement

OTTAWA — Conservatives should show empathy with Black residents who say they’ve… Continue reading

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. New Democrats are reconvening for the second day of a three-day policy convention as they look to push past the glitches of the virtual event's opening sessions and rally around keynote speaker John Horgan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
New Democrats reconvene as hiccups, frustrations plague national policy convention

OTTAWA — New Democrats reconvened Saturday for the second day of a… Continue reading

FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 23, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a joint statement with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. Former President Donald Trump plans to affirm his commitment to the Republican Party — and raise the possibility that someone else will be the GOP's next presidential nominee — in a closed-door speech to donors Saturday night, April 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
Trump in 2024? He says only that ‘a Republican’ will win

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Former President Donald Trump plans to affirm his… Continue reading

A cruise ship sits docked waiting for passengers to be evacuated in Kingstown, on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent, Friday, April 9, 2021 due to the eruption of La Soufriere volcano. (AP Photo/Orvil Samuel)
Ash-covered St. Vincent braces for more volcanic eruptions

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — People who ignored an initial warning to evacuate… Continue reading

Owner of 4 Point Taekwondo Kevin Mejia holds a board as organizer and martial artist Kevin Olsen breaks it in Edmonton on Friday, April 9, 2021. One hundred martial artists from around the world, will be breaking a board for an event called "Break for a Breakthrough." The idea is for martial artists to unite and re-engage with the arts because they may have drifted away or lost enthusiasm as a result of the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Break for a Breakthrough: Canadian hosts international martial arts demonstration

EDMONTON — Whether he’s breaking a wooden board, a clay tile, cement… Continue reading

Most Read