Huawei CFO experienced assets to flee Canada, border agent tells court in U.S. extradition scenario

VANCOUVER (Reuters) – A Canadian border official included with the interrogation of Huawei Main Economic Officer Meng Wanzhou in advance of her 2018 arrest told a court docket on Thursday she was a flight hazard and had the assets to escape the nation without having reporting to authorities.

Huawei Systems Main Monetary Officer Meng Wanzhou leaves a court listening to in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada November 17, 2020. REUTERS/Jennifer Gauthier

Prosecutors are making an attempt to create that Meng’s arrest and investigation had been earlier mentioned board, even though Meng’s legal professionals are looking for to show that Canadian and U.S. authorities illegally directed the Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) examination of Meng in order to use the agency’s additional investigative powers to get facts from her without having a lawyer present.

Meng, 48, is accused of misrepresenting Huawei Systems Co Ltd’s [HWT.UL] dealings with Iran, putting a single of its creditors HSBC at hazard of violating U.S. trade sanctions.

She has denied the charges and mounted a defence, asking that her extradition be thrown out because of alleged collusion in between Canadian and U.S. authorities among the other explanations.

CBSA officers have testified that they had motive to detain and investigate Meng no matter of the pending arrest warrant.

CBSA superintendent Sowmith Katragadda mentioned all the countries Meng experienced frequented dependent on the stamps in her passport, like Mexico, Senegal, Colombia, Brunei, and the United Arab Emirates. He advised the court docket going to some of these “source countries” was a “national safety issue,” and constituted grounds to research Meng’s devices.

She “has the means to depart Canada and not report for an evaluation,” Katragadda explained. “Ms. Meng is a senior govt for one of the largest firms in the entire world. And Canada is a pretty significant country with a large amount of compact airports.”

Defence law firm Mona Duckett challenged Katragadda concerning “deficiencies” in his be aware and report having all through the investigation. Katragadda acknowledged he did not acquire notice of a conference he attended with law enforcement the morning of the arrest, the assortment of gadgets, prospective threats to countrywide stability, or the reality that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) had been ready to arrest Meng soon after his examination was entire.

But Katragadda denied these have been intentional omissions, or that these gaps were of concern to prime-ranking border officers.

Meng’s arrest has established off a diplomatic conflict in between Ottawa and Beijing. Quickly right after her detention, China arrested Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig on espionage expenses. The two adult men continue being in detention.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned he experienced no regrets about Meng’s arrest no matter of overseas coverage implications, pointing to the “longstanding extradition treaty with our closest ally” and including that Canada’s guidelines can not only be followed “when it’s convenient or when it’s simple.”

Hearings in the British Columbia Supreme Court docket this week and upcoming week consist of witness testimony from CBSA and RCMP officers, regarding their carry out throughout Meng’s investigation and arrest.

Modern testimony has reviewed and scrutinized moment-to-minute developments at the airport on the day of Meng’s arrest.

Another RCMP official, who is now retired and is alleged by Meng’s attorneys to have illegally handed identifying information about her electronic units to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, declined to testify.

Courtroom files present that prosecutors at first declined to launch notes relating to his affidavit thanks to “witness safety” concerns.

Reporting by Sarah Berman in Vancouver and Joseph Sipalan in Kuala Lumpur Producing by Moira Warburton in Toronto Enhancing by Chizu Nomiyama and Stephen Coates