VANCOUVER - A lawyer representing the Canadian government says border guards could not have legally arrested Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver's airport last December.

Meng's lawyers argue that officers with the Canada Border Services Agency should have immediately executed a provisional arrest warrant instead of questioning her for three hours before the RCMP arrested her.

The Chinese tech giant's chief financial officer was arrested at the request of the U.S., which is seeking her extradition on fraud charges linked to the alleged violation of sanctions against Iran.

Crown prosecutor Diba Majzub told a British Columbia Supreme Court judge today that border officers are required by law to conduct an admissibility examination on all travellers entering Canada.

He says they aren't empowered by law to arrest people under the Extradition Act and the Crown has provided 150 examples of cases in which border officers were involved but were not the ones to execute such warrants.

Meng, whose arrest sparked a diplomatic crisis between Canada and China, denies any wrongdoing and her lawyers are in court seeking further documents ahead of her extradition trial in January.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 1, 2019.