Federal judge rules classified documents Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou seeks are not 'missing pieces of the puzzle'
Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, arrives for her hearing at B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, Monday, January 20, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Jonathan Hayward)
VANCOUVER -- In another blow to Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou, a federal court judge has ruled that classified documents relating to her arrest and questioning will remain largely redacted because they are not relevant to her case.
Meng’s defence team had argued that the six documents, which include reports from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), would help prove that she suffered an abuse of process at Vancouver International Airport in 2018.
Meng’s lawyers say the Huawei CFO was the target of a “covert criminal investigation” by Canadian and U.S. authorities during her three-hour-questioning by Canada Border Services Agency, and eventual arrest by RCMP, to clandestinely gather information that could bolster the U.S. fraud case against her.
Both CBSA and the RCMP deny any wrongdoing.
It’s one of the key arguments Meng’s defence team plans to make before a B.C. Supreme Court judge next February to try to halt her extradition the U.S.
In the ruling, issued Friday but only made public Tuesday, Justice Catherine Kane wrote the redacted sections, which she reviewed in their entirety, are “not relevant to the allegations.”
“The information does not provide the ‘missing pieces of the puzzle’ that Ms. Meng seeks,” Kane wrote.
In May, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled against Meng, writing that a critical test in the extradition case, where Meng’s alleged crime would appear to also constitute a crime in Canada, had been met.
Meng is charged with bank and wire fraud in the U.S. for allegedly misrepresenting Huawei's relationship with a subsidiary doing business in Iran to HSBC bank.
Both she and the company have repeatedly denied the charges.
Meng’s lawyers also argue Washington is using her as a political pawn to put pressure on Beijing.
The Huawei executive is due back in court in late September, with hearings on abuse of process scheduled for February 2021.
Even if a B.C. Supreme Court judge were to decide to extradite Meng to the U.S., a decision that could come as soon as next May, Meng can appeal the decision to higher courts.
Canada’s Justice Minister must also decide to turn her over to U.S. authorities.