The United States has accused the daughter of Huawei’s founder of cheating on HSBC bank over the telecommunications company’s business dealings in Iran.
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was back in Canadian court on Monday in the final round of her fight against extradition to the United States, with her lawyers disputing the nub of the case – which she allegedly hid the tech giant doing business in Iran. .
The daughter of Huawei founder and chief executive Ren Zhengfei faces charges in the United States of bank fraud and conspiracy over the activities of a former Huawei subsidiary that allegedly violated US sanctions against Iran.
Meng is accused of lying to investment bank HSBC about Huawei’s relationship with the unit – Skycom – putting the bank at risk of breaches of US sanctions as it continues to clear transactions in US dollars for Huawei.
If found guilty, she faces more than 30 years in prison in the United States.
Defense attorneys argued on Monday that Meng could not have fooled HSBC executives at a 2013 Hong Kong teahouse meeting because the bank “knew full well” that Huawei still effectively controlled Skycom , although it sold it in 2007 to shell company Canicula Holdings.
“The bank knew that Skycom had sold its shares to Canicula, and the bank knew that Huawei controlled Canicula’s bank account… [and] Huawei continued to control Skycom from 2007 onwards, ”defense lawyer Frank Addario told the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
He said the US claims that Meng “was misleading about Skycom” or “was trying to hide something about this relationship” were “misleading and unreliable.”
Crown Attorney Robert Frater countered that these arguments should be made at trial, not at hearing.
Extradition is not a trial
Frater objected to Addario’s call to admit new evidence on Monday afternoon, insisting that an extradition hearing was not a trial. He told the judge that she “was not here to draw conclusions about their state of knowledge (of the bank employees)”.
Frater argued that Meng’s defense attorneys would have the opportunity to cross-examine the bank’s witnesses on their knowledge of Huawei affiliates during the trial.
Following testimony from Canadian border officials and police officers involved in the case at the end of 2020, the final hearings will also focus on the alleged interference of then-President Donald Trump in the case, as well as the outstanding issues arising from testimony and other abuse of process arguments.
The 49-year-old woman was arrested at Vancouver Airport in December 2018 on a US arrest warrant and is living under house arrest in one of her homes in the city while her case goes to Canadian courts.
Meng’s arrest created tensions between Beijing and Ottawa, and days later, China is detained two canadians, who continue to have limited access to a lawyer or diplomatic agents.
Meng’s case is expected to end in May.