Meng Wanzhou, financial director of Huawei, could be extradited to the United States. The company executive lost a legal battle in a Canadian court to avoid being tried in the United States. According to Reuters, Heather Holmes, chief judge of the Superior Court of British Columbia dismissed the request by Wanzhou’s lawyers to drop the charges.
Wanzhou’s legal team argued that the bank fraud case for cheating HSBC about the relationship with an Iranian company should be scrapped. Lawyers said Canada had no sanctions against Iran, yet Judge Holmes determined that the legal standard of double criminality had been met.
“Meng’s approach would seriously limit Canada’s ability to fulfill its international obligations in the context of extradition for fraud and other economic crimes,” said the head of the High Court.
The decision facilitates a second phase in the extradition process
Meng Wanzhou, during his detention in Canada
Although extradition was not authorized, this gives rise to a new phase in the process and exhausts a legal solution that the Huawei executive had. Meng Wanzhou was arrested in December 2018 at the request of the United States for violating trade sanctions against Iran.
In the lawsuit it is said that Huawei shipped products of American origin to Iran and other territories that are excluded in the North American export law. Meng held a management position at Skycom Tech, a Huawei affiliate company that shipped HP computers to the Asian country.
North American authorities say that Meng lied to HSBC bank about Huawei’s relationship with Skycom and requests his extradition to New York. Today’s ruling does not determine the guilt or innocence of the executive, although his actions would be considered a crime under Canadian law.
The next step will examine whether Canadian officials adhered to the law while arresting Meng. The Huawei executive said that she was illegally detained and questioned by border officials, actions that invalidate the extradition case, according to his lawyers.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Department of Justice said that an audience at the end of the year determine whether or not the alleged conduct provides sufficient evidence of the crime of fraud to comply with extradition. Canadian authorities say that an independent judge will determine if that test is met.
The final arguments will be given in the last week of September and the first week of October. Huawei said expects Canada’s judicial system to prove innocence from Meng Wanzhou. Currently the chief financial officer is free thanks to a bond of 10 million dollars. although it is guarded 24 hours a day and must remain in Canadian territory.