A Canadian court on Thursday agreed with Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou that some of the allegations in a US extradition case against her have the potential to mislead.
The United States is seeking to extradite Wanzhou from Canada to the Eastern District of New York for her alleged role in a bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy case involving Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacture. Wanzhou served as chief financial officer to Huawei, and also served on the board of directors of the Iranian company Skycom. The United States alleges that Wanzhou participated in deceiving HSBC Bank about Huawei’s relationship with Skycom during a 2013 presentation in Hong Kong. HSBC was wary of being subject to U.S. sanctions by doing business with Skycom. Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver in 2018 while on layover to Mexico, and is currently being held under house arrest there.
Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes of the British Columbia Supreme Court held “that some of that evidence [adduced by Wanzhou] is realistically capable of challenging the reliability of the ROC [record of the case] on issues relevant in the hearing.” She further found that there is an “air of reality” to Wanzhou’s allegations that the state engaged in abuse of process in its handling of the ROC. Holmes will allow Wanzhou to submit a limited amount of new evidence to the extradition hearing but also held that the new evidence is not strong enough on its own to grant an outright dismissal of the case.
The extradition trial is expected to continue through April of 2021.