Meng says she’s mak­ing the most of time on bail

Huawei CFO posts about ‘lux­ury of tak­ing my time and en­joy­ing my sur­round­ings’

Vancouver Sun - - CITY -

Huawei Tech­nolo­gies ex­ec­u­tive Meng Wanzhou says she has ex­pe­ri­enced feel­ings of help­less­ness, tor­ment and strug­gle since be­ing ar­rested in Canada one year ago, but no longer fears the un­known.

In a post Mon­day on the Chi­nese tele­com com­pany’s web­site, Meng, 47, said she has passed the time on bail in one of her com­fort­able homes in Van­cou­ver read­ing books, chat­ting with col­leagues and paint­ing.

Cana­dian au­thor­i­ties took Meng into cus­tody at the re­quest of the U.S. on al­le­ga­tions of vi­o­lat­ing sanctions on Iran, and her ex­tra­di­tion case is now wind­ing its way through B.C.’s Supreme Court.

Soon af­ter Meng was ar­rested, Beijing de­tained two Cana­di­ans, en­tre­pre­neur Michael Spa­vor and for­mer diplo­mat Michael Kovrig, over ac­cu­sa­tions of un­der­min­ing China’s na­tional se­cu­rity.

Cana­dian of­fi­cials have met with Kovrig and Spa­vor sev­eral times, but the two have been de­nied ac­cess to lawyers or fam­ily while in de­ten­tion.

Meng said in her post that she sees the dense forests slowly turn­ing the hills around her home to a deep crim­son as part of the beauty of na­ture.

“If a busy life has eaten away at my time, then hard­ship has in turn drawn it back out,” she said, con­trast­ing her work­ing life as CFO of Huawei to her cur­rent “lux­ury of tak­ing my time and en­joy­ing my sur­round­ings.”

“Right now, time seems to pass slowly. It is so slow that I have enough time to read a book from cover to cover. I can take the time to dis­cuss minu­tiae with my col­leagues or to care­fully com­plete an oil paint­ing.”

She thanked her sup­port­ers for show­ing up in court, say­ing their pas­sion warms her heart.

For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Fran­cois-Philippe Champagne said last month he had spo­ken with his Chi­nese coun­ter­part, Wang Yi, about Spa­vor and Kovrig at a G20 meet­ing soon af­ter tak­ing over the port­fo­lio. He said se­cur­ing their re­lease was his “ab­so­lute pri­or­ity” as re­la­tions with China hit a new low af­ter the men’s ar­rests, nine days af­ter Meng was taken into cus­tody at Van­cou­ver’s air­port on Dec. 1, 2018.

Champagne said he ex­pressed Canada’s con­cerns re­gard­ing “the con­di­tions of the men’s de­ten­tion” and that he and Wang were com­mit­ted to con­tin­u­ing the dis­cus­sions.

On Nov. 22, China’s am­bas­sador to Canada, Cong Peiwu, re­it­er­ated his govern­ment’s long-stand­ing hard­line po­si­tion, say­ing Meng’s ar­rest and ex­tra­di­tion case amount to ar­bi­trary de­ten­tion, lead­ing to the prob­lems the two coun­tries are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing and that re­leas­ing Meng would pave the way for bi­lat­eral re­la­tions to re­turn to nor­mal.

Hua Chun­y­ing, China’s For­eign Min­istry spokes­woman, told a news con­fer­ence Mon­day that she was touched by Meng’s blog post, adding that she is “an in­no­cent Chi­nese ci­ti­zen held with­out cause.”

“China’s po­si­tion on this in­ci­dent is clearcut and firm. The U.S. and Canada abused their bi­lat­eral ex­tra­di­tion treaty and arbitraril­y took com­pul­sive mea­sures against a Chi­nese ci­ti­zen with­out cause,” she said in a tran­script posted to the min­istry’s web­site.

Meng’s lawyers told B.C. Supreme Court last week in a writ­ten sub­mis­sion that the U.S. is “dress­ing up” its com­plaint that she vi­o­lated sanctions as a case of fraud and asked a judge to de­cline the ex­tra­di­tion re­quest.

She is ac­cused of ly­ing about Huawei’s re­la­tion­ship with its Iran-based af­fil­i­ate Sky­com to one of its bankers, HSBC, but she de­nies any wrong­do­ing and the al­le­ga­tions haven’t been tested in court.

The U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice has laid 13 crim­i­nal charges, in­clud­ing con­spir­acy, fraud and ob­struc­tion against Meng, whose fa­ther founded Huawei. The in­dict­ment ac­cuses Huawei and Meng of mis­rep­re­sent­ing their own­er­ship of Sky­com be­tween 2007 and 2017 in an ef­fort to cir­cum­vent U.S. sanctions against Iran.

De­fence lawyers have said the case is re­ally about the U.S. seek­ing to en­force its sanc­tion laws against Meng for con­duct that took place out­side both the U.S. and Canada.

The At­tor­ney Gen­eral of Canada hasn’t yet filed its writ­ten ar­gu­ments, but has pre­vi­ously called the fo­cus on sanctions a “com­plete red her­ring.”

REUTERS/FILES

Huawei Tech­nolo­gies CFO Meng Wanzhou says in a re­cent on­line post that she is pass­ing her time on bail com­fort­ably at one of her Van­cou­ver homes. She says she has been read­ing and paint­ing.

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