Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou opens new front in marathon extradition battle, seeking to admit new HSBC evidence

Lawyers for Meng Wanzhou will open another front in her marathon extradition battle next month, when they seek to admit new evidence from HSBC that they believe will bolster their contention that the Huawei Technologies executive is the victim of an abuse of process.

An application to admit the evidence will be made on June 7, and a hearing conducted on June 29 and 30, Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes said at a case management conference in the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver on Wednesday.

The nature of the evidence has not been revealed, although Meng’s lawyers say the material is “copious”. The evidence is being provided as the result of a court ruling in Hong Kong last month, in which HSBC agreed to provide the material.

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Meng, who is Huawei’s chief financial officer and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, has been fighting against a US request to have her extradited to face trial in New York ever since she was arrested at Vancouver’s airport on December 1, 2018.

She is accused of defrauding HSBC by lying about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran, thus putting the bank at risk of breaching US sanctions on the Middle Eastern country. She denies the charges.

Meng, who attended Wednesday’s hearing by phone, was bound over until May 31 when another case management conference will be held remotely in accordance with pandemic precautions. She spoke briefly to confirm she would return to court in person on June 29.

The court had originally been expected to hear final arguments in the extradition case this month.

But Meng’s lawyers last month secured an adjournment to have those arguments heard in August instead, giving them time to assess the HSBC evidence.

Canadian government lawyers representing US interests in the case have accused Meng of using delaying tactics.

Meng’s arrest triggered upheaval in China’s relations with Canada and the US. Two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, were arrested in China soon after her detention, and recently underwent closed-door trials for espionage.

No verdicts have been announced, while Canada has said the men are victims of arbitrary detention and hostage diplomacy by China.

Wednesday’s case management conference had been postponed last week due to technical problems with the remote hearing.

This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2021 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 2021. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

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