National Post (Latest Edition)

De­fence ar­gu­ment in Meng ex­tra­di­tion should be heard at trial: at­tor­ney gen­eral

- Amy Smart Crime · White-collar Crime · Discrimination · Courts · Human Rights · Society · Law · Vancouver · Canada · British Columbia · U.S. Supreme Court · Huawei · Crown · United States of America · Iran · Scott · Meng Wanzhou · Holmes · Fenton, NY

VAN­COU­VER • A lawyer for Canada’s at­tor­ney gen­eral is urg­ing a B.C. Supreme Court judge to “cut off at the knees” ar­gu­ments from Huawei ex­ec­u­tive Meng Wanzhou’s lawyers that he says have no chance of suc­cess.

Crown pros­e­cu­tor Robert Frater told As­so­ciate Chief Jus­tice Heather Holmes of the B.C. Supreme Court that an ex­tra­di­tion judge has a duty as gate­keeper to en­sure pro­ceed­ings are swift.

He said an ex­tra­di­tion hear­ing is not a trial and ac­cused Meng’s lawyers of try­ing to in­tro­duce ev­i­dence that would be more ap­pro­pri­ate for a jury to hear.

Meng is wanted on charges of fraud and con­spir­acy to com­mit fraud, which she and Huawei deny.

Her de­fence team is ask­ing the judge to al­low it to present an ar­gu­ment next year that she was sub­ject to an abuse of process be­cause the United States al­legedly mis­led Cana­dian of­fi­cials ahead of her ar­rest, and they are ask­ing her to ad­mit ev­i­dence to sup­port the claim.

Frater said ev­i­dence that es­tab­lishes a de­fence or an al­ter­na­tive in­fer­ence of what hap­pened does not meet the test of rel­e­vance for an ex­tra­di­tion hear­ing so Holmes should dis­miss the de­fence team’s mo­tion.

“It falls to you to try to keep th­ese pro­ceed­ings on the straight and nar­row,” Frater told Holmes on Tues­day.

“Your duty here, in my re­spect­ful sub­mis­sion, is not to let this pro­ceed­ing be­come a trial, not to ad­mit ex­pert ev­i­dence on causal­ity in U. S. sanc­tions law to force us to file re­spond­ing ev­i­dence so that you can de­cide an is­sue of which, with great­est re­spect, you have no ex­per­tise.”

Meng is ac­cused of mis­rep­re­sent­ing Huawei’s re­la­tion­ship with Sky­com dur­ing a 2013 Pow­erpoint pre­sen­ta­tion to HSBC, putting the bank at risk of vi­o­lat­ing

U. S. sanc­tions against Iran. Meng, Huawei’s chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer, was ar­rested at Van­cou­ver’s air­port in De­cem­ber 2018.

De­fence lawyer Frank Addario told the judge Tues­day that the United States de­scribes the Pow­erpoint pre­sen­ta­tion as the “corner­stone of its case,” yet only de­scribes part of the pre­sen­ta­tion in its case sum­mary.

He said ad­di­tional slides in the same pre­sen­ta­tion show that Meng clearly de­scribed Huawei and Sky­com as part­ners that both did busi­ness in Iran, and the bank had the in­for­ma­tion it needed to nav­i­gate trade laws.

“No banker would leave that meet­ing think­ing that Huawei had dis­tanced it­self from Sky­com in any way ma­te­rial to U. S. sanc­tions con­se­quences for the bank,” Addario said.

On Mon­day, de­fence lawyer Scott Fen­ton told the judge that the sum­mary of al­le­ga­tions used to jus­tify Meng’s ar­rest could be con­sid­ered an abuse of process.

The judge is con­sid­er­ing whether the ar­gu­ment mer­its pro­ceed­ing to a three­week hear­ing start­ing in Fe­bru­ary cen­tred on al­le­ga­tions of abuses of process re­lated to Meng’s ar­rest.


 ?? Da rryl Dyck / the Cana dian press ?? Meng Wanzhou leaves her home on Tues­day to at­tend a court hear­ing in Van­cou­ver.
Da rryl Dyck / the Cana dian press Meng Wanzhou leaves her home on Tues­day to at­tend a court hear­ing in Van­cou­ver.

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