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Huawei CFO appears in B.C. courtroom in advance of extradition hearing
VANCOUVER -- Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou made her first court appearance of the New Year in downtown Vancouver Friday.
The high-profile Chinese tech executive is wanted in the United States on fraud charges and has been living under a slew of court-imposed conditions in Vancouver since her arrest on Dec. 1, 2018 in response to an extradition request from the United States.
Her bail conditions included $10 million bail, an ankle monitoring bracelet, round-the-clock physical surveillance, an overnight curfew and restricted travel in Vancouver area.
Her passport was also surrendered.
Friday’s appearance was for a case management conference in which a judge, Canadian government prosecutors and Meng’s defence team met to discuss future court dates.
Meng spent about 30 minutes in B.C. Supreme Court before being driven away accompanied by a team of security guards.
The extradition hearing is set to begin Jan. 20, focusing on the test of dual criminality, or whether the U.S. allegations would also be a crime in Canada.
If the judge rules the test has not been met, Meng will be free to leave Canada, though she'll still have to avoid the U.S. if she wants to evade the charges. If the judge finds there is dual criminality, the hearing will proceed to a second phase.
The second phase, scheduled for June, will consider defence allegations that the Canada Border Services Agency, the RCMP and Federal Bureau of Investigation conspired to conduct a “covert criminal investigation” at the airport.
With files from The Canadian Press.