Huawei's Meng Wanzhou faces charges in Canadian court

08 December, 2018, 14:56 | Author: Sheila Harris
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A Canadian prosecutor told a Vancouver court on Friday that the United States asked Canada to arrest Meng because the us alleges she violated sanctions on Iran. Meng has contended that Huawei sold Skycom in 2009.

Canadian prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley said in a court hearing Friday that a warrant had been issued for Meng's arrest in New York Aug. 22.

Still, attorney DeBusk said, "I would certainly expect the Chinese to do something in retaliation" for Meng's arrest, perhaps by targeting USA companies doing business in China.

As details of American allegations against a Chinese executive were revealed Friday in a Vancouver court, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada's ambassador in Beijing had briefed the Chinese foreign ministry on her arrest.

From 2009 to 2014, the court heard, Huawei used Skycom to transact business in Iran despite USA and European Union bans.

Meng entered the courtroom in downtown Vancouver at 10:25 a.m. local time, wearing a green sweatsuit and accompanied by her lawyer.

United States intelligence agencies have also alleged that Huawei is linked to China's government and its equipment could contain "backdoors" for use by government spies.

In a letter sent a day before the bail hearing of Meng Wanzhou, its chief financial officer, in a Canadian court, it said: "We believe the United States government's tactics to exert pressure on a business entity is straying from the spirit of fair competition and free economy".

"This will pressure a lot of Chinese officials to look strong in this dispute", said Nick Marro, Hong Kong-based Asia analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit, who added that technology companies were particularly at risk.

"Meng being released on $1 million bail would be like asking upper middle class Canadian family to cough up $136", she paraphrased the Crown as explaining, before noting that Meng's "father has a net worth of $3.2bn".

On Friday, there were reports that Tokyo appeared to be the latest country that plans to ban the purchase of Huawei products. The presentation did assert that Huawei operates in Iran in strict compliance with applicable laws and sanctions, he said. "We also require our partners, such as Skycom, to make the same commitments".

He added that Ms Meng should not be granted bail because she could be a flight risk due to her wealth and connections overseas. "The United States is encouraging western allies to essentially push Huawei out of the emerging 5G network, and my personal view is that is something that western countries should be doing in terms of our own long-term security issues".

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"The allegations contained in this document do not support a prima facie case of fraud against Ms. Meng, let alone against Huawei", he said.

The case was adjourned until Monday by Justice William Ehrcke to allow the defence more time to complete their submissions.

"Her arrest will have phenomenal repercussions in China", said Tao Jingzhou, a corporate lawyer in Beijing.

Prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley said Meng, who has vast financial resources as the daughter of Huawei's founder, has incentive to flee Canada because she faces fraud charges in the United States that could bring up to 30 years in prison.

Her arrest has drawn criticism from Russian Federation and China as an example of the United States' heavy-handed policies.

It's unclear why it took the USA five years to take any serious action against Meng, - an issue raised by her defense, - but her arrest comes less than a week after the U.S. and China announced a 90-day truce in the ongoing trade war - and threatens to send it crumbling.

Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co. The court heard she was en route from Hong Kong to Mexico.

Some have noted that US tech executives would be wise to avoid traveling to China over the next two weeks, out of concern that they might get caught up in the tug of war over Huawei. The Trump administration says they benefit from improper subsidies and market barriers.

A spokesman for Huawei had no immediate comment on the case against Meng yesterday.

The Trump administration has tightened regulations on high-tech exports to China and made it harder for Chinese firms to invest in USA companies or to buy American technology in cutting-edge areas like robotics, artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

Huawei is the world's biggest supplier of network gear used by phone and internet companies and long has been seen as a front for spying by the Chinese military or security services. The company is a privately held juggernaut with projected 2018 sales of more than US$102 billion that has already overtaken Apple in smartphone sales. Meng is also known by the names Sabrina Meng and Cathy Meng.

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