Meng Wanzhou is the CFO of China’s largest tech company, Huawei. She was arrested in Canada back in 2018 and has been fighting extradition to the United States where she would be tried for allegedly attempting to violate U.S. sanctions on Iran.
Back in May, Meng’s legal team lost a major battle in court when the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that the conduct she is accused of would be a crime in Canada as well as in the U.S. This “double criminality” ruling seemed to be paving the way for her extradition. But in the past few days, her legal team seems to be going into overdrive alleging her arrest was part of a conspiracy between the United States and Canadian spies:
Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou is demanding fuller access to redacted spy-service documents about her arrest that her lawyers say Canadian authorities are trying to “cover up” on spurious national security grounds, as she challenges a US attempt to have her extradited from Vancouver.
In a federal court application being heard in Ottawa on Monday, Meng’s lawyers claimed that the documents have likely been the subject of “excessive redactions [and] overly broad claims of privilege”, and are likely relevant to Meng’s claims that she was the victim of an abuse of process in her arrest. They say her ongoing extradition hearing in the British Columbia Supreme Court should be thrown out because of this…
Fenton said Canadian federal police delayed the arrest for three hours after Meng got off her flight, while Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers conducted a “covert” investigation of her on behalf of US authorities, seizing her electronic devices and their passwords and interrogating her.
“The CBSA used its extraordinary powers … to gather evidence for the FBI on Ms Meng” that was unrelated to their mandate as border officers, Fenton said.
The push to have more information unredacted seems like a fishing expedition to me but I guess we’ll see. Meng’s lawyers won’t even be allowed to see the unredacted information because it is secret. It will be shown to an amicus lawyer with a security clearance who can then advice Meng’s team about how to proceed.
Meanwhile, Chinese state media has been busy pushing another angle, i.e. that Meng was framed by a bank called HSBC which has its central offices in London. This weekend the bank issued a denial after several state media outlets made claims about its involvement:
The London-based bank was drawn this weekend into issuing a denial of renewed claims that it “framed” Huawei to help the US government. In a statement posted on Chinese social media platform WeChat, the company stressed that it does not harbor any “hostility” against the Chinese tech giant…
Chinese state media has for the last year been hitting HSBC — which has its roots in Hong Kong and Shanghai — for its role in Meng’s arrest…State-run newspaper China Daily on Friday labeled HSBC as an “accomplice” in the case. And the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party, asserted that HSBC had”exaggerated data and hid facts.”In its response, HSBC said it was not involved in the US decision to charge Huawei or to request Meng’s arrest in Canada.“Recently, we noted some media updates which carried misinterpretation of the facts,” HSBC said in its WeChat statement, which was provided to CNN Business. “The timeline in the Huawei case makes it absolutely clear that HSBC did not prompt the investigation of Huawei. US government scrutiny of Huawei began long before HSBC got caught up in the case in late 2016.
Here’s the sort of claim state media is making about the grand conspiracy to support US hegemony:
The US used HSBC as a “pawn” and masterminded the entire Meng Wanzhou incident. The US is using a big stick across the globe in order to box Huawei in, with the sole purpose of sustaining its hegemony in the global tech sector. As US Attorney General William Barr said: “China has stolen a march, and is now leading in 5G. The power the United States has today to use economic sanctions would pale by comparison to the unprecedented leverage we would be surrendering into the hands of China.”
Meng’s arrest, which was based on fabricated evidence and charges, constituted an abuse of power and was unlawful. Her case is a perfect example of how US hegemony works. It also clearly displays how the US and Canada have colluded to engage in political persecution against a Chinese tech company, using their state power in the name of justice.
So there it is. One of the worst abusers of human rights in the world right now is crying like a baby that one of its wealthy elite is having her rights violated by Canada of all places. Hopefully the court won’t be distracted by this sideshow and Meng will wind up being extradited to the U.S. Then we’ll get a chance to see what U.S. prosecutors really have on her.