Lawyers says Canadian police put FBI demands ahead of Meng’s rights

VANCOUVER (CNA) – Canadian police prioritised demands from the FBI over the rights of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou “at nearly every turn” during her investigation and arrest, Meng’s lawyers said.

Meng, 49, who is fighting extradition to the United States (US) on bank fraud charges, returned to the British Columbia Supreme Court on Wednesday, as her hearing entered the final stages.

She was arrested on a US warrant on December 1, 2018, during a stopover at Vancouver International Airport and has since been under house arrest in Vancouver. Meng is accused by the US of misleading HSBC about Huawei Technologies’s business dealings in Iran, putting the bank at risk of violating US sanctions.

She denies the charges and has asked the extradition request be thrown out because her rights were violated.

Defence lawyer Tony Paisana said authorities on both sides of the border failed in their duties to conduct themselves honourably and transparently, listing many alleged violations of Meng’s rights in submissions to the court on Wednesday.

Paisana said US authorities made misrepresentations in their request for her extradition, that Canadian police disregarded an order to arrest Meng immediately, that her devices were seized without proper authority, and her device passcodes were improperly obtained.

“What we say animated much of this misconduct was an overarching preoccupation on the part of Canadian authorities to appease and otherwise comply with demands received from the FBI,” Paisana said. “At nearly every turn, the authorities prioritised US requests over Meng’s rights,” he added.

Canada has called for two of Meng’s main arguments in her extradition case to be dismissed, saying her claims are not backed with evidence and that one issue has been ruled on, court documents released on Tuesday showed.

Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, British Columbia. PHOTO: CNA