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A person in the know reveals more details on Meng Wanzhou's case

A person in the know reveals more details on Meng Wanzhou's case”

She is accused by the USA authorities of bank fraud for misleading HSBC about Huawei's relationship with a company operating in Iran, putting HSBC at risk of fines and penalties for breaking U.S. sanctions on Tehran.

Meng was arrested in December 2018 at Vancouver International Airport on a warrant from the United States. The US wants her extradited to face fraud charges, but her arrest has infuriated Beijing, which sees her case as a political move created to prevent China's rise.

United States prosecutors claimed that Huawei had used Skycom as a shell company to do business with Iranian telecommunications companies, in violation of sanctions the U.S. had in place against Iran at the time.

Meng's lawyers last week said HSBC was well aware of Huawei's activities in Iran, but claimed ignorance to dodge further U.S. punishment.

In recent court filings, Meng's lawyers argue the U.S. is using the extradition to secure a trade advantage and say that is undermining the integrity of Canada's judiciary.

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, leaves her home to go to B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, Wednesday, May 27, 2020.

The lawyers claim Meng, 48, has been left in the impossible position of fearing that any attempt to defend herself may affect either the Chinese economy or the lives of two men.

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Noting that U.S. President Donald Trump and other senior members of the administration intend to use Meng "as a bargaining chip in a trade dispute", Meng's lawyers said that Trump's stated willingness to intervene in the case is "offensive and ominous". During the meeting, she made a presentation about Huawei's business links in Iran and its efforts to comply with USA sanctions.

The filings say USA officials selectively summarise information from only a few slides and omit "highly relevant information" that was on two slides.

In May a judge in British Columbia's Supreme Court ruled that the standard of double criminality had been met, meaning that the Canadian attorney general's case to extradite her cleared the first hurdle.

According to a "Global and Mail" report last week, citing Meng's legal team, USA prosecutors omitted "highly relevant information" that created the impression the Huawei never told HSBC about its relationship or activities with Skycom. The Chinese government arguably created bargaining chips of its own by arresting Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor on espionage charges following Meng's detention in Canada.

Meng's defence team also noted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's comments about two Canadians detained in China in apparent retaliation for Meng's arrest.

Meng remains free on bail in Vancouver. China also handed a death sentence to a convicted Canadian drug smuggler in a sudden retrial.



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