Huawei ex­ec­u­tive ap­pears in court

Chi­nese tele­com of­fi­cer wanted by U.S. will stay in jail over the week­end

The Dallas Morning News - - Front Page -

A Chi­nese ex­ec­u­tive ap­pears in court in Canada, ac­cused of vi­o­lat­ing U.S. sanc­tions on Iran by mis­lead­ing U.S. banks about the role of her com­pany, the tech gi­ant Huawei.

VAN­COU­VER, British Columbia — A Cana­dian prose­cu­tor urged a Van­cou­ver court on Fri­day to deny bail to a Chi­nese ex­ec­u­tive at the heart of a case that is strain­ing U.s.­china re­la­tions and shak­ing up global fi­nan­cial mar­kets.

Meng Wanzhou, the chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer of telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions gi­ant Huawei and daugh­ter of its founder, was de­tained at the re­quest of the United States dur­ing a lay­over at the Van­cou­ver air­port last Satur­day — the same day that Pres­i­dents Don­ald Trump and Xi Jin­ping of China agreed over din­ner to a 90­day cease­fire in a trade dis­pute that threat­ens to dis­rupt global com­merce.

The sur­prise ar­rest, al­ready de­nounced by Bei­jing, raises doubts about whether the trade truce will hold.

Cana­dian prose­cu­tor John Gibb­cars­ley said in a court hear­ing Fri­day that a war­rant for Meng’s ar­rest was is­sued in New York on Aug. 22. He said Meng, ar­rested en route to Mex­ico from Hong Kong, was aware of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and had been avoid­ing the United States for months, even though her teenage son goes to school in Bos­ton.

Meng is ac­cused of com­mit­ting fraud in 2013 by telling U.S. fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions that Huawei had no con­nec­tion to a Hong Kong com­pany called Sky­com, which was re­port­edly sell­ing goods man­u­fac­tured in the United States to Iran in vi­o­la­tion of U.S. sanc­tions. Meng has said Huawei sold Sky­com in 2009.

“Ms. Meng per­son­ally rep­re­sented to those banks that Sky­com and Huawei were sep­a­rate, when in fact they were not sep­a­rate,” Gibb­cars­ley told the court. “Sky­com was Huawei.”

In urg­ing the court to re­ject Meng’s bail re­quest, Gibb­cars­ley said the Huawei ex­ec­u­tive had vast re­sources and a strong in­cen­tive to flee: She’s fac­ing fraud charges that could put her in a U.S. prison for 30 years.

Meng’s lawyer, David Martin, ar­gued that it would be un­fair to deny her bail just be­cause she “has worked hard and has ex­traor­di­nary re­sources.”

Martin told the court that her per­sonal in­tegrity would pre­vent her vi­o­lat­ing a court or­der. Meng was will­ing to wear an an­kle bracelet and put her two homes in Van­cou­ver up as col­lat­eral, he said.

There was no bail de­ci­sion by the judge on Fri­day, so Meng will spend the week­end in jail, and the hear­ing will re­sume Mon­day.

Huawei is the world’s big­gest sup­plier of net­work gear used by phone and in­ter­net com­pa­nies and long has been seen as a front for spy­ing by Chi­nese se­cu­rity ser­vices.

MENG WANZHOU ap­peared in court Fri­day.

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