The case to extradite Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou from Canada to the United States can continue, judge rules
The decision does not determine Meng’s guilt or innocence, only if his actions would be considered a crime under Canadian law. Meng and Huawei have denied the US claims.
The Department of Justice Canada said in a statement Wednesday that another hearing later this year “would determine whether or not the alleged conduct provided sufficient evidence of the fraud offense to meet the test for incarceration under of the Extradition Act “.
“An independent judge will determine if this criterion is met,” the statement said. “This demonstrates the independence of the extradition process from Canada.”
“We expect the Canadian justice system to finally prove Ms. Meng’s innocence,” said the statement.
The extradition case
Huawei founder billionaire daughter Ren Zhengfei arrested on demand from the United States in December 2018 at Vancouver airport, where she had to return her passports and agree to live in one of the two houses she owns in the city.
At the January hearing, Meng’s lawyers argued that what she was charged with did not violate Canadian law, as the US allegations depend on sanctions against Iran that do not exist in Canada. But attorneys for the Attorney General of Canada’s office have argued that the allegations, which include lying to a bank that could cause loss, would amount to a charge of Canadian fraud, and that Meng should therefore be sentenced to extradition.
“Lying to a bank for financial services that create a risk of economic harm is fraud,” said Robert Frater, attorney general’s attorney, at the January hearing, adding that these actions put HSBC at risk of sanctions American for: sanctions for violations and damage to reputation.
The judge’s decision on Wednesday came to a similar conclusion. Holmes wrote in the ruling that Meng’s argument that dual criminality was violated due to the application of the US sanctions “would give fraud an artificially narrow scope in the context of extradition”.
Holmes added: “The dual criminality requirement for extradition can be met in this case. The effects of the US sanctions can rightly play a role in the analysis of dual criminality in the context or context in which the alleged conduct is examined. “
A spokesperson for the United States Department of Justice said in a statement on the decision that “the United States thanks the Government of Canada for its continued assistance under the United States / Canada Extradition Treaty in this matter in Classes”.
A “serious political incident”
The extradition case has drawn Canada into political tension between the United States and China.
The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa issued a Wednesday asking Canada to release Meng.
“The United States and Canada, by abusing their bilateral extradition treaty and arbitrarily taking drastic measures against Ms. Meng Wanzhou, have seriously violated the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese citizen,” said the statement. the embassy.
“The whole affair is a serious political incident”, Added the embassy, calling on Canada “not to go the wrong way.”
“We have seen China link these two cases from the very beginning. Canada has an independent judiciary, which operates without interference or neutralization from politicians”, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday before the decision in the Meng case. “China does not operate in the same way and does not seem to understand that we have a judicial system independent of any political intervention. We will continue to maintain the independence of our judicial system while we advocate for the release of the 2 Michaels.”
Other Canadian officials, including Minister of Foreign Affairs François-Philippe Champagne, also stressed the independence of the country’s judicial system as the Meng case continues before the courts.
“We will continue to pursue our principled engagement with China in order to resolve our bilateral disputes and cooperate in areas of mutual interest”, Champagne said.