Canada Presses on With Huawei Extradition Case
A Canadian court has ruled that extradition proceedings against Chinese tech giant Huawei’s CFO, brought by US authorities, will resume next week.
In what marks the beginning of an end to an intense 18-month legal battle, the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver ruled on Wednesday that the extradition case of Meng Wanzhou will go ahead, despite efforts by the executive’s lawyers to have the proceedings dropped.
OCCRP previously reported that the US Justice Department had indicted Meng, Huawei’s chief financial officer and daughter of the company’s founder Ren Zhengfei, back in January 2019 on charges of fraud, money laundering and evasion of sanctions against Iran.
Meng’s indictment accompanied a slew of other charges against the company itself, relating to the alleged sanctions violations alongside a possible plot to steal trade secrets from US telecom company T-Mobile.
The defence had attempted to argue that the legal test of ‘double criminality’ - meaning that the charges against Meng would have to be considered criminal in both the US and Canada for extradition to be justified - had not been met.
“Ms. Meng submits that the conduct cannot amount to fraud because in essence the proposed prosecution is to enforce US sanctions laws against Iran, measures that are not part of Canadian law and which, indeed, Canada has expressly rejected,” Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes said in her ruling on Wednesday.
However, Holmes further argued that “for the double criminality principle to be applied in the manner Ms. Meng suggests would give fraud and artificially narrow scope in the extradition process,” concluding that US sanctions were indeed relevant in context of Meng’s alleged crimes and therefore that the test “is capable of being met in this case.”
Wednesday’s ruling will further exacerbate tensions between Canada and China, which have erupted over Meng’s case. China has reportedly arrested two Canadians in retaliation for the executive’s arrest, on charges denounced as “arbitrary” by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, according to the BBC.