Canadian Court Mulls Release of Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou

The Associated Press

Huawei finance chief Meng Wanzhou is awaiting the decision by a Canadian court considering if she can be released on bail.

Meng has been held by Canadian authorities since her December 1st arrest in Vancouver. American authorities are seeking to have her extradited to the U.S. to face charges of deceiving banks in order to skirt Iran sanctions.

The bail hearing stretched into three days, an unusually lengthy process. As the hearing concluded Tuesday afternoon, the judge indicated he could come back with a decision by 2 P.M. local time. That would be 5 P.M. EST.

Canadian prosecutors argued that Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, was a flight risk because of her wealth, her deep connections to China, and the possibility she could be sentenced to decades of imprisonment in the U.S. Her lawyers denied she was at risk of fleeing, claiming that doing so would humiliate China. They proposed an elaborate system of physical and electronic surveillance to monitor her compliance with the terms of her bail.

On Wednesday, lawyers for Meng introduced four people who were willing to pledge their property or savings to act as sureties for her release. Her lawyers argued that Meng would not flee Canada if doing so would be financially costly to these people, who lawyers claimed were either personal friends or co-workers.

Canadian prosecutors said on Friday that Huawei used a Hong Kong company, Skycom Tech, to do business in Iran in violation of American sanctions. When banks in the United States inquired about Skycom, Meng allegedly provided false information that led banks to believe Huawei did not control Skycom. As a result, the banks cleared financial transactions for Huawei that were allegedly actually Skycom transactions.  One unnamed bank cleared more than $100 million in transactions related to Skycom, according to documents presented to the court.

Meng’s arrest has become a flashpoint for tension between China and both Canada and the U.S. China has demanded that Canada release Meng. The editor of it’s state-controlled Global Times has said her arrest is tantamount to a “declaration of war.”

 

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