Judge Rules Huawei CFO's Extradition Case Can Go Forward

Elias Hubbard
May 29, 2020

"Lying to a bank in order to get banking services that creates a risk of economic prejudice is fraud", said Robert Frater, Canada's chief general counsel for the Department of Justice, arguing the United States' case in court earlier this year.

A judge in Canada has ruled that the USA extradition case against senior Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou can continue since the allegations against Meng constitutes a crime in Canada.

"On the question of law posed, I conclude that, as a matter of law, the double criminality requirement for extradition is capable of being met in this case", Holmes says in the written judgment.

The ruling paves the way for the extradition hearing to proceed to the second phase starting June.

The United States has charged Meng with bank fraud and misleading HSBC HSBA.L about a Huawei-owned company's dealings with Iran - was also illegal in Canada at the time of her December 2018 arrest. She was indicted in January 2019 amid allegations that a Huawei-affiliated company, Skycom Tech, sold telecommunications equipment to Iran in violation of US sanctions. The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported some consternation at Meng's residence after the decision came down, and quoted her private security guards joking that they expected the U.S. Navy SEALs to swoop in and grab her at any moment.

In January, the court in Vancouver, British Columbia, started the hearings on the accusations of bank fraud against Meng in the USA would also be considered a criminal offense in Canada. At the time, Canada had no such sanctions, just as it has none now, they said.

The Attorney General of Canada told the court that the fraud allegations could be argued without reference to USA sanctions.

Meng's attempt to get the case thrown out rested on the argument that Canada no longer maintains the sanctions she violated against Iran, so her actions did not satisfy the requirement of "double criminality" under both USA and Canadian law.

"Canada's law of fraud looks beyond worldwide boundaries to encompass all the relevant details that make up the factual matrix, including foreign laws that may give meaning to some of the facts", she wrote.

On that issue, Holmes says Meng's lawyers applied an "artificially narrow scope" to the definition of fraud within the context of extradition. However, British Columbia's Superior Court Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes ruled, "Ms. Meng's approach. would seriously limit Canada's ability to fulfill its global obligations in the extradition context for fraud and other economic crimes".

Holmes says that because it's OK to consider the sanctions as part of the legal analysis, she is dismissing Meng's application.

"This question will be determined at a later stage in the proceedings".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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