News: Border officers gave ‘vastly conflicting’ testimony in Huawei CFO extradition, lawyers allege.
VANCOUVER (Reuters) – An attorney for Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou said in a Canadian court Thursday that border officials who questioned them at Vancouver Airport were “untrue” when they said they accidentally had Meng’s phone pass Surrender to police.
Border officials also cited “highly contradicting versions of key events,” argued Meng’s legal team as their extradition hearing entered the final stage of arguments that resulted in a final hearing.
Meng, who was arrested at Vancouver International Airport in
2018 US arrest warrant for bank fraud is alleged to be misleading
HSBC through Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.
Business ties in Iran that led the bank to break up with the US
Meng, 49, and Huawei claim she is innocent. For more than
For two years she fought extradition to the United States under house arrest in Vancouver.
Diplomatic relations between China and Canada have deteriorated
about the problem. Shortly after Meng’s arrest, China arrested two Canadians on suspicion of espionage. They are on trial this week and next, which increases tensions between the two countries.
Defense attorney Tony Paisana told a British Columbia Supreme Court judge that the agents had abused their legal powers and would not have acted as they would if they had conducted a “bona fide” border check. He asked why the agents took Meng’s electronic devices but didn’t search them, and why they asked for passwords when they knew they wouldn’t use them.
Paisana said border officials who testified that they accidentally gave passcodes to police were “untrue” under oath. “These officers deliberately tried to deceive you,” he told the judge. The evidence indicated the information was being collected for the FBI, Paisana said.
Meng’s legal team has called for her extradition request to be denied, arguing that there was abuse of process during her arrest and that her rights were violated.
Canadian prosecutors said Meng’s arrest followed established procedures.
Defense attorney Mona Duckett said border officials who testified at Meng’s extradition negotiations last year had given conflicting versions of important events. She quoted statements from several border officials who were asked which authorities allowed them to take phones and passwords with them. Although everyone gave different answers, she said none of the agents could articulate what reasonable reasons they had.
“I say the answer is because there isn’t,” she said.
The Canada Border Services Agency was not immediately available for comment.
On Wednesday, Paisana said that Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers who appeared as witnesses last year gave “less than truthful testimony” when faced with alleged abandonment.
The RCMP declined to comment. Meng’s extradition negotiation is expected to close in May, although a decision could be appealed that would delay the final outcome.
Reporting by Sarah Berman in Vancouver; Editing by Denny Thomas, Sonya Hepinstall and Peter Cooney
Original Source © Reuters