Huawei CFO had resources to flee Canada, border agent tells court docket in U.S. extradition scenario

VANCOUVER (Reuters) – A Canadian border formal included with the interrogation of Huawei Chief Monetary Officer Meng Wanzhou ahead of her 2018 arrest informed a court on Thursday she was a flight threat and experienced the assets to escape the country without the need of reporting to authorities.

Huawei Systems Chief Economic Officer Meng Wanzhou leaves a court hearing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada November 17, 2020. REUTERS/Jennifer Gauthier

Prosecutors are seeking to set up that Meng’s arrest and investigation were being over board, when Meng’s legal professionals are in search of to establish that Canadian and U.S. authorities illegally directed the Canada Border Providers Agency’s (CBSA) evaluation of Meng in purchase to use the agency’s added investigative powers to collect info from her devoid of a lawyer present.

Meng, 48, is accused of misrepresenting Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s [HWT.UL] dealings with Iran, placing one of its loan providers HSBC at danger of violating U.S. trade sanctions.

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

CBSA officers have testified that they experienced purpose to detain and investigate Meng regardless of the pending arrest warrant.

CBSA superintendent Sowmith Katragadda shown all the nations around the world Meng experienced frequented based mostly on the stamps in her passport, such as Mexico, Senegal, Colombia, Brunei, and the United Arab Emirates. He told the court visiting some of these “source countries” was a “national protection concern,” and constituted grounds to research Meng’s equipment.

She “has the means to depart Canada and not report for an assessment,” Katragadda stated. “Ms. Meng is a senior govt for 1 of the largest providers in the world. And Canada is a pretty huge country with a large amount of compact airports.”

Defence lawyer Mona Duckett challenged Katragadda concerning “deficiencies” in his note and document taking throughout the investigation. Katragadda acknowledged he did not choose be aware of a assembly he attended with law enforcement the morning of the arrest, the collection of devices, likely threats to nationwide safety, or the point that the Royal Canadian Mounted Law enforcement (RCMP) were waiting to arrest Meng soon after his examination was finish.

But Katragadda denied these have been intentional omissions, or that these gaps had been of worry to leading-ranking border officers.

Meng’s arrest has set off a diplomatic conflict concerning Ottawa and Beijing. Shortly immediately after her detention, China arrested Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig on espionage prices. The two guys remain in detention.

On Thursday, Primary Minister Justin Trudeau said he experienced no regrets about Meng’s arrest regardless of international policy implications, pointing to the “longstanding extradition treaty with our closest ally” and incorporating that Canada’s guidelines simply cannot only be followed “when it is handy or when it’s quick.”

Hearings in the British Columbia Supreme Court this 7 days and next week consist of witness testimony from CBSA and RCMP officers, pertaining to their perform all through Meng’s investigation and arrest.

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

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

Court paperwork display that prosecutors originally declined to release notes relating to his affidavit thanks to “witness safety” problems.

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