Legal experts see no reason why extradition hearings for Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou won’t proceed.
According to a new report from Reuters citing legal experts, Canada is likely to announce today that an extradition hearing against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou can proceed, legal experts said, worsening the country’s already-declining relations with Beijing.
Last December, police arrested the Chinese telecommunications company’s chief financial officer in Vancouver at the request of the United States. In January, the US Justice Department charged Huawei and Meng with conspiring to violate sanctions on Iran.
Joanna Harrington, a law professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, said officials were most likely to approve the move. “I have no reason to see why they wouldn’t,” she said. “There is an ongoing, long-standing extradition relationship between the United States and Canada. The United States is a country with which we share a legal culture.”
Vancouver criminal defense lawyer Gary Botting, an expert in extradition law, also said he expected officials to issue the authority to proceed.
“I have little doubt that they probably will but it would be very foolish,” he said, adding that an approval would “invite a whole pile of grief” for Canada and possible economic retaliation from China.
The decision will come just a day after the Chinese company and its US affiliate appeared in federal court in the US to answer to charges that they engaged in a scheme to steal trade secrets from American carrier T-Mobile and also committed wire fraud and obstruction of justice.
“The prosecution of Ms. Meng appears to be one small part of a larger effort to hold Huawei accountable for what the U.S. government clearly views as a significant national security threat from China and China-backed companies,” said former federal prosecutor Joseph V. Moreno.
The two cases have intensified the spotlight on Huawei, which has come to symbolize China’s economic rise and challenge to the US’s status as the world’s top superpower. In particular, the decision to prosecute Meng has sparked an unprecedented diplomatic dispute, with Canada trapped in the middle.