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Huawei’s lawyers focus on the witness’s refusal to testify in the US extradition


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou leaves home to attend the trial in Vancouver

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By Sarah Berman and Moira Warburton

VANCOUVER (Reuters) – Huawei CFO Manh Van Chu’s US extradition hearings on Monday are expected to focus on a former Canadian police officer who declined to testify despite being a prime witness on the main allegations that the Canadian and US authorities were improperly coordinating the arrest of Meng.

Meng, 49, is accused by the United States of misleading HSBC about Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s business dealings in Iran, causing the bank to violate US sanctions. Meng says she is innocent and is fighting extradition from her house arrest in Vancouver. If he is extradited, he will appear in court for bank fraud in the United States.

The defense argued that the abuse of the process, including the alleged coordination between the Canadian and US authorities during her detention, would void the extradition.

Canadian border officials interrogated Meng for three hours before federal police arrested her on US orders in December 2018. Border officials seized Meng’s electronic devices and later. They admitted giving the police the wrong password.

On Friday, defense attorney Scott Fenton told Supreme Court judge of British Columbia he would start on Monday by questioning why Ben Chang, a former Royal Canadian police officer they believe has moved Meng’s electronic device identification information to the FBI, is not coerced. to testify.

Last week, Fenton and another defense attorney, Mona Duckett, disputed the stated motives of Canadian border officials when they interrogated Meng before she was arrested by police, claiming they were carrying out an Secret investigation for FBI.

Canadian officials testified in November and December 2020 that they are following normal procedures. Canadian government attorneys have called the defense group’s argument an unfounded “conspiracy”, and claim that officials on both sides of the border have followed legal procedures.

Meng’s arrest has cooled diplomatic relations between China and Canada. Shortly after Meng’s arrest, Beijing detained two Canadians on charges of espionage. Michael Spavor’s trial ended on Friday, while Michael Kovrig’s trial will begin on Monday.

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