Monday, July 6, 2020

First hearings on the extradition procedure of Meng Wanzhou, a Huawei executive

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Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou arrives in court in Vancouver, Canada, on January 21. JONATHAN HAYWARD / AP

Hearings on Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou’s extradition request to the United States, began on Monday, January 20, in the Supreme Court of British Columbia’s western province. They will continue in Vancouver until the end of the week.

Judge Heather Holmes to Determine Whether Washington's Alleged Acts Against Daughter of Founder of Chinese Telecommunications Giant to Request Arrest – Charges of Fraud and Conspiracy to Avoid US Sanctions Against Iran – Constitute also a crime in Canada, according to the so-called "Dual criminality".

If the Court finds that this is not the case – defense lawyers argue that the violation of such sanctions is not a "Crime" in Canada – she could order her release. Otherwise, a new judicial stage will take place in June; this time, the trial will focus on the conditions for the arrest of the Chinese leader by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Finally, in September, the legal value of the justifications advanced by the United States to demand this arrest will be examined.

Read also Huawei leader's arrest provokes tensions between Beijing and Washington

The December 2018 arrest of Meng Wanzhou at the airport of Vancouver at the request of the United States Department of Justice caused an unprecedented diplomatic crisis between Ottawa and Beijing. A few days later, China in turn arrested two Canadian nationals, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, accused of threatening the " National Safety " from the country. The two men are still being held in very difficult conditions pending trial, when Meng Wanzhou obtained permission from Canada to live under house arrest in one of his luxury homes in Vancouver.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Two Canadians hostage to tensions between Beijing and Ottawa

Canada caught in the vice

In the aftermath, Beijing also launched a series of commercial reprisals against Ottawa, with restrictions on grain imports and an embargo on pork and beef under the pretext of phytosanitary reasons. Economic sanctions that have had a very negative impact on Canada. Experts expect Statistics Canada to soon announce a significant drop in Chinese-Canadian trade; in 2018, China was the country's second largest trading partner with 103 billion Canadian dollars (71 billion euros) in imports and more than 27 billion dollars in exports.

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