News: Huawei CFO lawyer argues examination by border agents was not legitimate.
VANCOUVER (Reuters) – A lawyer representing Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou said in a Canadian court Thursday that border officials who questioned them at the airport were “untrue” when they said they accidentally had Meng’s phone passcodes handed over to the police.
In the final stage of the arguments leading to a final hearing on Meng’s extradition case, defense attorney Tony Paisana told a British Columbia Supreme Court judge that the agents had abused their legal powers and did not act as they did if they had performed an “act in good faith” 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.
The evidence indicated that the information was being collected for the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Paisana said.
“(Otherwise) why do you need the passwords? For what purpose? ”He asked.
Meng, who was arrested at Vancouver International Airport in 2018 on a U.S. arrest warrant for bank fraud, is charged with misleading HSBC about Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s business dealings in Iran, leading the bank to break U.S. sanctions . Meng, 49, and Huawei claim she is innocent. For more than two years she has been fighting against extradition to the USA under house arrest in Vancouver. Diplomatic relations between China and Canada have deteriorated on this matter. China arrested two Canadians shortly after Meng’s arrest and they will be tried this week, adding to tensions between the two countries.
Meng’s legal team argues that there was abuse of law during her arrest and that her rights were violated.
Canadian prosecutors said Meng’s arrest was based on established procedures.
On Wednesday, Paisana said the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers who appeared as witnesses last year “gave less than truthful testimony” when faced with alleged abuses of law. He said RCMP Constable Winston Yep gave testimony “verging on the absurd” in defending his decision to allow border guards to question Meng prior to police arrest.
RCMP declined to comment.
Meng’s extradition is expected to be completed in May, although any decision that would delay the final outcome could be appealed.
Reporting by Sarah Berman in Vancouver; Adaptation by Denny Thomas and Sonya Hepinstall
Original Source © Reuters