Huawei ex­ec­u­tive ac­cused of fraud over Iran sanc­tions

The Hamilton Spectator - - Canada & World - LAURA KANE

VAN­COU­VER — A se­nior ex­ec­u­tive of Chi­nese tech gi­ant Huawei is fac­ing al­le­ga­tions of fraud by us­ing a sub­sidiary to vi­o­late U.S. trade sanc­tions against Iran in a case that shook world stock mar­kets this week.

A fed­eral prose­cu­tor told a bail hear­ing for Meng Wanzhou in Van­cou­ver on Fri­day that the chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer of Huawei Tech­nolo­gies is wanted in the United States to face crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings, al­leg­ing Huawei used sub­sidiary Sky­com to do busi­ness with Iran.

John Gibb-Cars­ley said Meng is al­leged to have said Huawei and Sky­com were sep­a­rate com­pa­nies in a meet­ing with an un­named fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion, mis­lead­ing an ex­ec­u­tive with that in­sti­tu­tion and putting it at risk.

“Sky­com was Huawei. This is the al­leged fraud,” said Gib­bCars­ley, rep­re­sent­ing the At­tor­ney Gen­eral of Canada. “Sky­com em­ploy­ees were Huawei em­ploy­ees.”

None of the al­le­ga­tions have been proven in court.

The com­pany has said it is not aware of any wrong­do­ing by Meng and her lawyer, David Martin, told the B.C. Supreme Court no charge or in­dict­ment has been filed against his client, just a war­rant.

He said one of the glar­ing de­fi­cien­cies in the al­le­ga­tions is that the sum­mary of the case doesn’t dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween time pe­ri­ods.

Martin said at the meet­ing Meng had with a bank that was re­ferred to in a story by Reuters, she ex­plained Huawei owned Sky­com for a pe­riod of time but it sold the com­pany in 2009. Martin told the court the Pow­erPoint pre­sen­ta­tion his client de­liv­ered to the bank is sup­posed to be ev­i­dence of fraud, but that claim is “pre­pos­ter­ous.”

Huawei sold Sky­com be­fore the sanc­tions be­came law in the United States un­der pres­i­dent Barack Obama in 2010, he said.

Martin also ar­gued that the out­line pro­vided by Canada does not sup­port the case.

“The al­le­ga­tions con­tained in this doc­u­ment do not sup­port a prima fa­cie case of fraud against Ms. Meng” or Huawei, he added.

The case was ad­journed un­til Mon­day by Jus­tice Wil­liam Ehrcke to al­low the de­fence more time to com­plete their sub­mis­sions.

Gibb-Cars­ley said the At­tor­ney Gen­eral op­poses Meng’s re­lease on bail.

But Martin told the judge Meng is prom­i­nent and she would not vi­o­late a court or­der if she were re­leased.

“You can rely on her per­sonal dig­nity,” he said.

Huawei is the most pres­ti­gious tech com­pany in China and was founded by Meng’s fa­ther, Ren Zhengfei.

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