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09 December 2018, 01:03 | Tara Lloyd
Arrested Huawei CFO potentially faces decades in jail
If extradited to the US, Meng would face charges of conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions, a Canadian court heard on Friday. On Friday Canadian prosecutors at a court in Vancouver argued she posed a flight risk and should not be granted bail as she awaits extradition to the US.
Recently, our corporate CFO, Ms. Meng Wanzhou, was provisionally detained by the Canadian Authorities on behalf of the United States of America, which seeks the extradition of Ms. Meng Wanzhou to face unspecified charges in the Eastern District of NY, when she was transferring flights in Canada.
After almost six hours of arguments and counter-arguments, no decision was reached and the hearing was adjourned until Monday.
In January 2013, Reuters reported that Skycom, which tried to sell embargoed Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to Iran's largest mobile-phone operator, had much closer ties to Huawei and Meng than previously known.
The Supreme Court of British Columbia was told that Ms Meng had used a Huawei subsidiary called Skycom to evade sanctions on Iran between 2009 and 2014.
He suggested that Meng has shown a pattern of avoiding the USA since becoming aware of the investigation into the matter, has no ties to Canada and has access to vast wealth and connections - and thus poses a flight risk.
The offence for which extradition is being sought must also be a crime in Canada, and a Canadian court must decide if there is sufficient evidence to support the extradition.
The case will likely intensify pressure on the Trudeau government, which is being urged to refuse to allow Huawei products in Canada's next-generation 5G telecommunications networks.
Canada's arrest of Meng at the request of the United States while she was changing plane in Vancouver was a serious breach of her lawful rights, Le said. The prosecutor said she is accused of fraud.
Some have noted that US tech executives would be wise to avoid traveling to China over the next two weeks, out of concern that they might get caught up in the tug of war over Huawei.
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Yesterday's court hearing is meant to decide on whether Meng can post bail or if she is a flight risk and should be kept in detention.
Official details on the reasons for Meng's arrest have been slim, with the Star Vancouver reporting that United States authorities believe that Meng knew that a company called SkyCom, which did business with Iran while the country was under worldwide sanctions, was a subsidiary of Huawei until at least 2014. Meanwhile, Huawei claims that it is not aware of any wrongdoing by her.
Executives, including Meng, then made a series of misrepresentations about the relationship between the two companies to the banks, inducing them to carry out transactions linked to Iran they otherwise would not have completed and which violated sanction laws, he told the court.
"Even if this was completely and entirely divorced from anybody in the Trump administration, Beijing is going to receive it as a significant political escalation", he said. He alleged Huawei used a Hong Kong-based company called Skycom Tech to do business in Iran for Iranian telecom companies, breaching US and European sanctions, and that Meng led USA financial institutions to believe it had no ties to Skycom when, in fact, the company was a thinly disguised subsidiary. Countries that have rejected the company's technology include Japan, which said in recent days it would ban government purchases of Huawei (as well as ZTE) technology.
Meng entered the courtroom in downtown Vancouver at 10:25 a.m. local time, wearing a green sweatsuit and accompanied by her lawyer.
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