Saturday, December 10, 2022

Huawei CFO case: ‘uncomfortable’ Canadian officer helps FBI | News from Canada

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The arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, has chilled diplomatic relations between Ottawa and Beijing.

A policeman stationed at the Vancouver airport on the day Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested two years ago said on Monday he was in a “very awkward position” as a point contact for the US Federal Bureau of Investigation. (FBI).

Meng, 48, returned to the B.C. Supreme Court on Monday for the final week of witness cross-examinations in her extradition case to the United States, while last week her lawyers and US prosecutors have spoken to come to an agreement who could see her. release and return to China.

“At the end of the day, I’m not here to provide information and act on behalf of the FBI. I work there as a member of the RCMP, ”said Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Ross Lundie.

“Helping the FBI, given my background – it’s a very awkward position,” he added.

Meng was arrested in December 2018 on a warrant from the WE. She faces bank fraud charges for allegedly deceiving HSBC Holdings Plc about Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s business dealings in Iran, which caused the bank to break US sanctions.

She said she was innocent and was fighting extradition while under house arrest in Vancouver. His lawyers have argued that his extradition should be dismissed due to abuse of process during his investigation and arrest, including improper coordination between US and Canadian authorities.

They also claimed the case had been politicized to the point where Meng would not get a fair trial in the United States, pointing to comments by US President Donald Trump in an interview with Reuters news agency in December 2018 on his willingness to use Meng as a bargaining chip in trade talks with China.

U.S. prosecutors are discussing a deal with attorneys for Meng to resolve the criminal charges against her, a person familiar with the case said Thursday, signaling the potential end of a case that has strained ties between the states- United, China and Canada.

Lundie testified two weeks ago that he received at least two calls from FBI officials during the investigation and Meng’s arrest.

In the previous weeks of witness cross-examination, officials from the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) testified in court that the process leading up to Meng’s investigation and arrest had been rushed but by the book.

Prosecutors maintain that Meng’s extradition is valid and that the procedures were followed.

Meng’s arrest has cooled diplomatic relations between Ottawa and Beijing. Shortly after Meng’s detention, China arrested two Canadian men – Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor – who now face espionage charges.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that the release of the two Canadians was his “top priority,” while declining to comment on talks to free Meng.

Meng’s case is expected to end in April 2021.


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