Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, leaves B.C. Supreme Court during a break from her extradition hearing in Vancouver on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Meng’s lawyers fire back at attorney general claims that U.S. acted honourably

Meng’s lawyers fire back at attorney general claims that U.S. acted honourably

VANCOUVER — A lawyer for Meng Wanzhou told a British Columbia Supreme Court that the Huawei executive is asking the United States to be honest and diligent in its request for extradition.

In response to arguments made by Canada’s attorney general this week, lawyer Frank Addario told the court that Meng’s legal team is well beyond lightly questioning the actions of the U.S.

Addario says Meng was subjected to an abuse of process when the U.S. government summarized evidence and omitted other information in an effort to establish a case of fraud.

The attorney general has told the court that the U.S. has a “very high” standard and uses “discretion” on what evidence to give to Canada when making its case for extradition.

Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes adjourned court early Friday, with arguments expected to continue Monday.

These are expected to be the final arguments from Meng’s lawyers on alleged misconduct, before the actual committal or extradition hearing scheduled for later this month.

Both Meng and Huawei deny fraud and other charges against them centred on allegations she misrepresented Huawei’s relationship with another company, putting HSBC at risk of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Meng was arrested at Vancouver’s airport in December 2018 and remains out on bail, living in one of her Vancouver homes.

The attorney general, which represents the U.S. government in the case, has said a PowerPoint presentation Meng showed to HSBC executives said Huawei was conscious of the sanctions and was complying. They said the presentation was designed to falsely distance Huawei from the technology firm Skycom.

Meng’s lawyers have said the U.S. cherry-picked information from the PowerPoint and omitted slides in the presentation where she described Huawei as having a “normal and controllable” relationship with Skycom.

In July, Holmes ruled against allowing documents obtained by Meng’s legal team from HSBC through a court agreement in Hong Kong that include internal email chains and spreadsheets.

Documents presented to the court by Meng’s lawyers and released to the media this week say the U.S. is a “repeat misleader,” that it mischaracterized evidence and omitted other information in an effort to establish a case of fraud.

Meng’s lawyers have asked for a stay of proceedings and that she been freed. The attorney general has said there is no justification for a stay.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 6, 2021.

Hina Alam, The Canadian Press

Meng extradition