Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou returns to Vancouver court for document hearing
Alyse Kotyk, CTV News Vancouver
Published Monday, September 23, 2019 7:13AM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 24, 2019 9:02AM PDT
Huawei's CFO, Meng Wanzhou, returned to court in Vancouver Monday, as her lawyers are arguing for the release of documents related to her initial arrest.
Meng was arrested at Vancouver International Airport at the request of U.S. authorities last December. They wanted to extradite her as part of an investigation into alleged Iran sanction violations.
- Read more: Timeline of events in the Meng case
Her last significant court appearance was in May, and this time around the hearing is expected to last eight days.
Meng arrived at the downtown Vancouver court at around 9:30 a.m., and a long line of people were outside waiting to watch the proceedings.
Meng's appearance isn't an extradition hearing, but a document disclosure hearing as her legal team is applying for documents related to her arrest.
In August, her team argued that the three hours their client spent being questioned and having her bags searched by CBSA officers prior to her arrest by the RCMP were a violation of her Charter rights, and that CBSA officers went on what amounted to a fishing expedition to find evidence to share with U.S. authorities.
Documents were released at that time that included handwritten notes from RCMP officers and customs agents involved in questioning Meng.
On Sept. 16, Canada's attorney general responded to the request for additional disclosure in a 55-page document that ultimately concluded Meng "has already received most of what she seeks."
"Despite this, she has failed to demonstrate that further disclosure is relevant to her application for a stay of proceedings," the attorney general's response says.
"She has also failed to give an air of reality to the claim that either the conduct of the CBSA or the RCMP was abusive, or that the United States behaved improperly; indeed the only evidence is that all officials behaved appropriately."
On Monday, Meng's counsel replied saying that the "most recent disclosure does not absolve the need for further disclosure but suggests there is an even stronger foundation for this argument.
"In these circumstances, further disclosure related to (Meng's) detention and arrest, and the coordination of those efforts by Canadian and American authorities is warranted."
Immigration lawyer Richard Kurland told CTV News it appears Meng's legal team is trying to convince the judge the arrest was not executed properly.
"The strategy appears to be that if the arrest is tainted, the fruit must be discarded -- all the evidence of the interview, the information documents collected at Vancouver international -- out the door," he said. "In addition, the Charter breach may open the door to a stay of proceedings because the denial of right to council amounts to poisonous fruit that causes the entire case to collapse."
On Monday afternoon, Huawei Canada posted a video to Twitter, with spokesperson Benjamin Howes saying the company wouldn't give detailed comments on the matter while it's before the courts.
"We support Ms. Meng completely," Howes said in the video.
"We believe she is innocent of all allegations against her. We have every confidence that she will be vindicated in keeping with the independence and fairness of the Canadian judicial process."
Meng has also denied all the charges.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's David Molko
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