Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou lost a bid to have US extradition proceedings dismissed, after a Canadian judge ruled the charges brought against her satisfied a key criteria for the case to continue.
US officials requested Meng’s transfer in 2019, seeking to bring her to the country to stand trial for alleged bank fraud and sanctions violations.
Earlier this year, her lawyers argued the case should be dropped on the grounds the charges did not meet a standard known as double criminality, which specifies a person may only be extradited if their alleged activity also violated Canadian law. They noted that while the US imposed trade sanctions on Iran, Canada had not applied similar prohibitions.
Canadian prosecutors contended Meng’s alleged actions would be considered fraud regardless of the sanctions.
In a decision issued today (27 May), a British Columbia Supreme Court judge concluded “US sanctions are part of the state of affairs necessary to explain” how Meng’s actions may have put a bank at risk “but they are not themselves an intrinsic part” of her alleged fraudulent conduct.
The judge added Meng’s defence argument “would give fraud an artificially narrow scope” and “seriously limit Canada’s ability to fulfil its international obligations in the extradition context for fraud and other economic crimes”.
Huawei told Mobile World Live it was “disappointed” in the decision, but expects “Canada’s judicial system will ultimately prove Ms. Meng’s innocence”.
The ruling means Meng will be forced to remain in Canada, where she has been since her arrest in December 2018, as the case against her proceeds.
A hearing scheduled for June will focus on whether her constitutional rights were violated when she was detained and searched under the pretence of a routine immigration check.
CBC reported additional hearings will determine if there is enough evidence against Meng to merit extradition and whether her transfer would be “unjust or oppressive” under Canada’s legal framework.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back