Canada

Judge to rule on Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearing

VANCOUVER —
A B.C. Supreme Court justice will rule on Wednesday afternoon whether to allow Meng Wanzhou’s defence team a delay in her extradition case.

Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes will read her decision on an application from the Huawei executive’s defence team to postpone the next set of hearings until Aug. 3, 2021.

Last week, Meng’s lawyers reached an agreement with HSBC bank in Hong Kong to obtain documents they say could impact the extradition process after a similar request was denied by courts in the U.K.

Meng’s lawyers argued before Holmes on Monday that they need a reasonable pause in the hearings in order to review the documents and to assess their impact on Meng’s case.

Lawyers for the Attorney General of Canada opposed the request and accused Meng’s defence team of embarking on a globe-trotting fishing expedition, and of attempting to turn the extradition process into a trial.

“There is no justification for this 11th hour attempt at delay,” said Crown lawyer Robert Frater, Q.C.

The head of Meng’s legal team, Richard Peck, Q.C. told the court: “At no time have we come (to the court) with meritless or frivolous applications.”

Meng has been under house arrest in Vancouver since she was arrested on an extradition request from the U.S. at Vancouver International Airport in December 2018.

She faces bank and wire fraud charges in the U.S., where federal authorities allege she misrepresented Huawei’s relationship with Skycom, a Huawei subsidiary doing business in Iran, during a presentation to HSBC.

This, they allege, put HSBC at risk of violating U.S. sanction laws against Iran.

Meng and Huawei have repeatedly denied the charges. 


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