Judge Denies Huawei’s CFO’s Request to Submit Key Banking Evidence
According to CBC News, a B.C. judge has denied Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s application to enter a stockpile of banking documents into evidence in her court battle against extradition to the United States.
The Huawei CFO is currently fighting extradition to the U.S. on charges of fraud for allegedly misrepresenting the activities of Skycom, a Huawei subsidiary operating in Iran, to investment bank HSBC. The U.S. says Wanzhou violated sanctions in doing so, but she and Huawei deny the allegations.
Back in April, HSBC released documents detailing the bank’s dealings with Huawei Technologies under a court-brokered agreement in Hong Kong. According to Wanzhou and her legal team, HSBC’s own documents contradict the allegations being made against her.
Prior to the ruling, Wanzhou’s lawyers had argued that the documents would “fatally” compromise the U.S.’s entire case against her. “The offence of fraud advanced by the [U.S.] is implicated fatally by the new evidence,” they said.
“This new evidence consists of indisputably reliable, contemporaneous business records from the purported victim — HSBC — that are capable of potentially demonstrating that the narratives presented by the [U.S.] are so defective as to compel the court to place no reliance on them.”
However, lawyers for the Canadian government opposed entering the HSBC documents into evidence, arguing that the files would be prudent in the expected criminal case against Wanzhou in the U.S., but hold no weight in the ongoing extradition hearings.
“My decision is that the application is denied,” said Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes in a case management hearing on Friday. “The HSBC documents will not be admitted.”
Wanzhou has been engulfed in a now two-and-a-half year-long legal battle against extradition in Canada ever since she was arrested at Vancouver International Airport in December 2018.
The arrest even resulted in a spike in cyber attacks on Canadian soil originating from Huawei devices, and the drawn-out trial has put pressure on diplomatic relations with China and the USA. China continues to hold two Canadian men Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig in jail, the detentions seen as a response to Meng’s initial arrest years ago.
Wanzhou is currently under nightly curfew and constant supervision at her Vancouver mansion as she awaits the next hearing slated for July 29, mere days before three final weeks of court appearances scheduled to begin August 3.