Meng Wanzho, CFO, Huawei TechnologiesChinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Meng Wanzhou today is scheduled to learn if the U.S extradition case against her can proceed, reported Associated Press.
In 2018, Canada had arrested Wanzhou at Vancouver’s airport in violation of the U.S. sanctions and the U.S. had wanted her extradited to face the fraud charges. As per the U.S.’s accusations, Huawei had been using shell companies in Hong Kong to sell equipment to Iran, violating U.S. sanctions. The U.S. said that Wanzhou had committed fraud by misleading the HSBC bank about the company’s business dealings in Iran.
However, this arrest has infuriated China, which views her case as a political move to suppress the rise of China’s high-tech enterprises and restrain its legitimate development rights.
“This is a type of technological bullying behaviour and everyone can clearly see the real purpose,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying in a press briefing.
Further, Wanzhou’s lawyers have also argued that the case is about U.S. sanctions against Iran and is not a fraud case. They maintain that since Canada does not have similar sanctions against Iran, no fraud occurred.
At present, British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Heather Homes is scheduled to rule if the allegations against Wanzhou in the U.S. would also be a crime in Canada if committed here. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday said “We don’t need to apologize or explain for the decisions taken by our independent justice system. We will continue to abide and defend that system.”
Therefore the judgement can go both ways.
So if the judge rules against Wanzhou, her legal team is scheduled to be back in court in June and may argue that Canada Border Services, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the FBI had violated her rights while collecting evidence before the actual arrest. “But if she gets a favourable ruling, she would be free to return home,” Gary Botting, a Vancouver defense lawyer told Associated Press.