TORONTO (Reuters) – Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s conduct amounts to fraud under Canadian law and the court need not consider U.S. sanctions law, Canadian federal prosecutors argued in a court filing released on Friday.
Meng’s legal team argued in November that the Huawei chief financial officer could not be extradited to the United States because her alleged conduct was not illegal in Canada. Canada did not have sanctions against Iran at the time Canadian officials authorized commencing with the extradition, her lawyers said.
Meng, 47, was arrested at the Vancouver International Airport on Dec. 1, 2018, at the request of the United States, where she is charged with bank fraud and accused of misleading the bank HSBC about Huawei Technologies’ business in Iran. Meng has said she is innocent and is fighting extradition.
Her extradition hearing is set to begin on Jan. 20.
A crucial test in Canadian extradition law is “double criminality” – conduct must be illegal in Canada as well as in the country seeking extradition.
“The essence of the Applicant’s conduct is fraud on a bank: the Applicant is alleged to have made several misrepresentations to a bank to secure financial services,” reads the government’s submissions in part.
Her arrest infuriated the Chinese government, which subsequently detained two Canadian citizens in what international observers have called retaliation for Meng’s detention.
Meng was granted multi-million-dollar bail and has been living for the last year in one of her Vancouver homes with a 24-hour security team. The two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, remain in Chinese detention.
A Huawei spokesman was not available for an immediate comment.
(Reporting by Allison Martell and Anna Mehler Paperny in Toronto; Editing by Leslie Adler)