Arrested Huawei CFO makes appearance in Canadian court as U.S. seeks extradition

Chinese Tech Exec Faces 30 Years in Prison in U.S., Canadian Prosecutor Says

Chinese Tech Exec Faces 30 Years in Prison in U.S., Canadian Prosecutor Says

US prosecutors want a top executive of China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd to face charges of fraud linked to the skirting of Iran sanctions, a Vancouver court heard on Friday.

Meng's lawyer, David Martin, said she would not breach any court orders.

If extradited, Meng would face charges of conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions, the court heard, with a maximum sentence of 30 years for each charge. Many users have maintained that Meng has essentially been abducted by the United States, and argued that Chinese are no longer safe anywhere.

"We won't change our global supply chain partnerships". With Washington's previous allegations that Huawei has direct links to the Chinese government, it's not a big stretch to assume Meng's case is another trade war offensive, perhaps a hostage-taking.

A Huawei spokesman declined to comment on Thursday and said that Wednesday's statement still stands. The company has said it complies with all applicable export control and sanctions laws and other regulations.

Ms Meng was arrested on December 1 as she transited through Vancouver on her way to Mexico, coinciding with U.S. president Donald Trump's meeting his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Argentina that culminated in a temporary detente to the trade war between the world's two largest economies.

"You can rely upon her personal dignity", he said, adding that to breach a court order "would be to humiliate and embarrass her father, who she loves". Meng is being accused of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and deceiving banks to do so, and faces extradition to the US.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested on an extradition warrant, appears at her B.C. Supreme Court bail hearing along with a translator, in a drawing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada December 7, 2018.

Still, attorney DeBusk said, "I would certainly expect the Chinese to do something in retaliation" for Meng's arrest, perhaps by targeting U.S. companies doing business in China. This is also believed to have helped Huawei "circumvent United States sanctions by telling financial institutions that a Huawei subsidiary was a separate company". "SkyCom is Huawei", he told the court. At the time, Meng served as the management firm's company secretary.

He also responded to the idea that Meng could be found guilty in Canada for being in breach of sanctions the USA has imposed on Iran.

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. Martin identified the firm as HSBC Holdings Plc, but he disputed the US allegation that Meng misrepresented anything to that financial institution.

SkyCom employees used Huawei email addresses and its management were Huawei employees, according to the prosecutor.

It also said that Huawei's engagement with Skycom is a normal business co-operation and it requires Skycom to make commitments on observing applicable laws.

Huawei sold its shares in Skycom before the sanctions became law in the United States under president Barack Obama in 2010, he added. In a presentation to one bank, Meng allegedly described her company's relationship with SkyCom as a "normal business operation" and claimed that although Huawei had divested itself of a stake in SkyCom. Justice William Ehrcke said he would think about proposed bail conditions over the weekend.

The hearing did not name any banks, but sources told Reuters this week that the probe centred on whether Huawei had used HSBC Holdings to conduct illegal transactions.

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