This is the latest legal act in a case that has caused an open crisis between Ottawa and Beijing for nearly three years: the formal hearings of the extradition request of Meng Wanzhou, former financial director of the Chinese telecommunications group Huawei, must to be concluded Friday, August 20 in front of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Judge Heather Holmes could take several weeks, if not several months, to render her decision.

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Since August 4, lawyers for the businesswoman, arrested in December 2018 at Vancouver airport at the request of the United States and who has since been living under house arrest in one of her opulent villas in the city, tried to challenge point by point the extradition procedure to obtain his release, when those of the Crown – the equivalent of the prosecution, in the Canadian system – argued the solidity of the American case. The American authorities accuse Mme Meng lied during a presentation to HSBC bank in 2013 about Huawei’s ties to Skycom, which was doing business in Iran at the time, exposing the international bank to violating US sanctions against Iran .

“Evidence of dishonesty”

Counsel for the Attorney General of Canada, Robert Frater, asserted that the allegations concerning “What had said and had not said” Meng Wanzhou during this presentation to the bank made it very clear “Evidence of dishonesty ”, And that she should, as such, be extradited to the United States in order to answer these charges.

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The battery of defense lawyers argued that the case put together by the Americans was “Sloppy and riddled with holes”. They considered that the United States had abused the extradition procedure and demonstrated “Flagrant and disturbing bad faith” in the information given to Canada to accede to their request for arrest, adding in substance that “The alleged deception [de Meng Wanzhou] was ambiguous at best and that the risk of economic losses for the alleged victim, HSBC, was totally illusory ”.

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But this trial is followed more for its political and diplomatic consequences than for its legal debates. As Meng Wanzhou appeared, two Canadians were heavily sentenced in China. The death penalty was confirmed on August 11 for Robert Schellenberg, convicted of drug trafficking and initially sentenced to 15 years in prison, when businessman Michael Spavor, one of two Canadian nationals to be arrested by the Chinese authorities a few days after the arrest of the daughter of the founder of Huawei, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for “espionage”, after a trial held behind closed doors by a Chinese court in March.

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