Published: Sun, March 03, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Canada Will Likely Proceed with Extradition Hearing for Huawei CFO: Legal Experts

Canada Will Likely Proceed with Extradition Hearing for Huawei CFO: Legal Experts

Meng Wanzhou, now under house arrest, will appear in a Vancouver court on March 6 to set the date of the hearing.

The decision, the statement said, followed a "thorough and diligent" review which found sufficient evidence to warrant putting the matter before a judge.

Chinese authorities have previously called on Canada to release Meng, who they say is being held as a political bargaining chip in America's trade war with China.

Prosecutors say that between 2007 and 2017, Ms Meng, Huawei and subsidiaries sought to mask their business with Iran in violation of U.S. and United Nations sanctions on the Islamic republic.

The indictment accuses Huawei and Meng of misrepresenting their ownership of a Hong Kong-based subsidiary between 2007 and 2017 to circumvent USA sanctions against Iran.

The government news release Friday announcing the decision appeared to take into consideration the deeply sensitive nature of Meng's case and the allegations of political interference that have surrounded it. Not long after she was arrested, two Canadians in China were arrested on vague security charges that are widely seen as retaliation.

China's Foreign Ministry grabbed a chance to question the state of judicial independence in Canada on Friday, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government faced accusations at home that it had tried to intervene to stop a corruption trial.

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FILE PHOTO: Meng Wanzhou, Executive Board Director of the Chinese technology giant Huawei, attends a session of the VTB Capital Investment Forum "Russia Calling!" in Moscow, Russia October 2, 2014. "We'll be talking to the attorney general", he said on February 22, when asked if the United States might drop the charges against Meng to secure a trade deal. However, since then the U.S. Justice Department has unsealed its indictment against Meng and Huawei, and Trump has played down the idea of dropping the charges.

That decision is based on whether the request complied with the requirements of the US-Canada extradition treaty, and could not be refused if so.

However, it seems a little bit freaky when the Canadian Justice Department stated the hearing "is neither a trial nor does it render a verdict of guilt or innocence".

In a statement today, Canada's justice department confirmed it has issued an "authority to proceed". "If a person is ultimately extradited from Canada to face prosecution in another country, the individual will have a trial in that country". In the Meng case, there will be a moment when a political decision needs to be taken ... Kovrig and Spavor haven't had access to a lawyer since being arrested.

"This is a severe political incident".

As a company, Huawei has also been accused of less than scrupulous practices and business activities relating to a T-Mobile robot affectionately named "Tappy". A number of intelligence agencies around the world, including those within the United States, have already gone on record as stating that they consider Huawei to be a threat to national security and they would not use Huawei's 5G equipment in the creation of network infrastructure in their country.

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