Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou appears in Canadian court

Howard TerryDec 08, 2018

At a hearing Friday in Vancouver, a Canadian prosecutor argued that Meng - who has spent most of the past week at a women's detention facility in a suburb of Vancouver - should be denied bail pending possible extradition to the United States because she was a flight risk.

US prosecutors want a top executive of China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd to face charges of fraud linked to the skirting of Iran sanctions, a Vancouver court heard on Friday. Ms Meng is said to have concealed and misrepresented links between Huawei and Skycom from banks, implicating them in the violation of USA and European sanctions as they cleared transactions for Huawei.

As details of American allegations against a Chinese executive were revealed Friday in a Vancouver court, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada's ambassador in Beijing had briefed the Chinese foreign ministry on her arrest.

Meng was arrested at Vancouver International Airport on December 1 as she changed planes, and has been detained since.

Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co.

While there is some fear that the arrest could hurt talks between the US and China to end the current trade war between the two countries, Canadian prosecutors have called Ming a flight risk and have requested that the court place her in a detention center.

Documents obtained through an investigation by the U.S. authorities show that multiple Skycom bank accounts were controlled by Huawei employees, the filing said. A judge on Friday lifted a publication ban Meng had secured that curbed the media's ability to report on the evidence or documents presented in court.

If she is released on bail, she would likely have to surrender her passport and submit to electronic monitoring until she is discharged or surrendered for trial to the United States.

However, Kudlow said Trump had no knowledge of the arrest during Friday's interview on FOX Business.

Speaking at Thursday's press conference, Shuang responded to allegations that Meng's arrest had to do with Chinese intelligence services being suspected of involvement in the hacking of the USA hotel group Marriot, saying that he was "not aware" of the situation. Justice William Ehrcke said he would think about proposed bail conditions over the weekend.

From 2009 to 2014, the court heard, Huawei used Skycom to transact business in Iran despite US and European Union bans.

The outpouring of conflicting sentiments - some Chinese have demanded a boycott of US products while others have expressed anxiety about their investments in the United States - underscores the unusual, politically charged nature of the Trump administration's latest move to counter China's drive for technological superiority.

"Skycom employees, it's alleged, were Huawei employees", Gibb-Carsley said.

Since then, Huawei has grown into the world's biggest supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies.

In an interview in early November, BCE chief executive officer George Cope did not comment specifically on any conversations about Huawei with national security officials from any country.

Australia and New Zealand have already said they will not use Huawei for 5G networks.

Regardless of what violations might have occurred, it makes sense to go after Meng, CUNY'S Ming said.

He said there is incentive for Meng to leave Canada, telling the court her father's net worth is $3.2 billion and she has no meaningful connection to Canada, apart from spending two to three weeks on vacation in Vancouver every summer. He said it was a positive sign that China was willing to discuss core issues related to intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers and computer hacking of USA companies. We know she is the daughter of Ren Zhengfei.

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