VANCOUVER: The Attorney General of Canada hit back on Thursday April 1 to defense accusations of exceeding US jurisdiction in the extradition case of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, saying the issue came up late in the day. account to a trial judge.
Meng’s lawyers argued this week that his alleged crimes took place in Hong Kong and had no direct connection to the United States.
If Canada sent her to the United States to stand trial on charges of bank fraud and conspiracy, they added, it would violate international law on judicial courts.
Canadian government attorney Robert Frater said the jurisdictional issue should be left to Canada’s justice minister – who has the final say on extraditions – and a U.S. trial judge.
“This is an issue that can only truly be properly argued before a US trial judge,” Frater said, adding that “the flaws in the defense arguments are so broad and deep that I don’t know where to start”.
For more than two years, the Chinese businesswoman has been fighting to be sent to the United States, which claims to have misled the HSBC investment bank by keeping Huawei away from its Skycom subsidiary and its activities in Iran which violated the US sanctions.
Meng and Huawei deny any wrongdoing.
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MENG ILLEGAL ARREST
The defense also admitted this week that Canada’s arrest of Meng was required under its extradition treaty with the United States, but looking back, she should now be released.
“Ms. Meng’s detention was required by the extradition treaty, so it cannot be considered initially illegal,” defense attorney Gib van Ert said. “What we are saying now is that the detention is now found to be illegal … (because) it is based on the illegality of the extradition request itself.”
Van Ert said the $ 2 million in loans HSBC made after Meng met with HSBC executives at a Hong Kong teahouse had done no harm to the United States.
“What impact have these transactions really had on the American financial system?” asked van Ert. “In my opinion, the answer is … very almost no percentage impact.
“If someone just got on the plane to London and paid in cash, we wouldn’t be here because there wouldn’t be any connection to the United States.”
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Canada’s lawyer countered that countries can prosecute crimes committed internationally if there is an impact on them, and that HSBC has been put at risk because it has continued to provide banking services to Huawei and Skycom based on Meng’s assurances.
“Meng’s lies in the tea room have one consequence: the creation of a legal risk that takes place in the United States and gives the requesting state the opportunity to sue,” Frater said.
Meng will then appear on April 26. His extradition hearings are scheduled to end on May 14, unless appealed.