An extradition hearing will begin in January for a top executive of the Chinese tech company Huawei wanted by the US on fraud charges.
According to a new report from CTV, Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes set the formal extradition case to begin on January 20, 2020, with the start of committal hearings, as she broadly agreed to a schedule proposed by Meng’s legal team, in consultation with crown lawyers who represent the US.
“The decision follows a thorough and diligent review of the evidence in this case,” the Department of Justice Canada said in a release at the time. “The Department is satisfied that the requirements set out by the Extradition Act for the issuance of an Authority to Proceed have been met and there is sufficient evidence to be put before an extradition judge for decision.”
The hearing will take place more than a year after she was taken into custody at Vancouver’s airport. Defence lawyer David Martin said the schedule could allow the case to wrap up within two years, which he says would be a “record” for such a complicated case.
In a statement, Huawei said there is no evidence Meng misled any banks and that her alleged actions are not a crime in Canada. It also said US President Donald Trump’s comments show the case against Meng is “guided by political and financial considerations, not the rule of law.”
Her lawyers are seeking a stay of extradition proceedings on several grounds, including allegations that Canadian Border Services Agency officers delayed Meng’s arrest to extract evidence under the guise of a routine immigration check before she was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Meng, 47, the daughter of Huawei’s billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested at Vancouver’s airport in December on a U.S. warrant and is fighting extradition on charges that she misled global banks about Huawei’s relationship with a company operating in Iran.
Tensions between Huawei and the United States have since been running high, especially after the US government put the company on its Entity List, which requires US companies to gain approval from the government to sell equipment to Huawei, effectively banning any interactions between US firms and Huawei.