National Post (Latest Edition)

Judge reserves decision on evidence in Huawei case

- Amy Smart

VANCOUVER • A B. C. Supreme Court judge is considerin­g whether an argument that the United States misled Canadian officials about its case against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou holds enough water to advance to another hearing in her extraditio­n case.

Meng’s defence lawyers tried to convince Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes during a hearing this week that there’s “an air of reality” to that argument and it should be heard in full next year, while lawyers for Canada’s attorney general accused them of trying to turn an extraditio­n hearing into a lengthy trial.

Holmes reserved her decision on the argument, as well as whether to admit additional evidence that would support that claim, on Wednesday.

Meng is wanted in the United States on fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud charges that both she and Huawei deny.

She is accused of misreprese­nting Huawei’s relationsh­ip with Skycom in a Powerpoint presentati­on to HSBC, putting the bank at risk of violating U. S. sanctions against Iran.

Defence lawyer Frank Addario told Holmes Wednesday that Meng’s case should not be measured against a list of cases where similar applicatio­ns were dismissed.

“You were told there was a long, eye-watering string of cases that dismiss these kinds of motions,” Addario said in reference to the Crown’s arguments this week.

“This is not a normal garden-variety extraditio­n case. Our record is different.”

Addario argued that the case stands apart because of alleged political interferen­ce by U. S. President Donald Trump, and because the U. S. left out key details from the Powerpoint presentati­on in describing its case against Meng to Canada.

Meng told HSBC that Huawei and Skycom worked together in Iran, which was enough informatio­n for HSBC to navigate U. S. trade laws, he said.

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general accused the defence of wasting the court’s time by pursuing a line of argument and evidence better suited for a U. S. fraud trial. Meng, who is Huawei’s chief financial officer, was arrested at Vancouver’s airport in 2018 at the behest of the United States.

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