Lawyers for Meng Wanzhou argue U.S. was 'selective' in disclosure of information
The United States acted in “bad faith” when requesting the extradition of Meng Wanzhou from Canada, says a lawyer for Huawei's chief financial officer.
Mona Duckett told a B.C. Supreme Court judge Wednesday that the United States “misused” the extradition process, calling its conduct “egregious” and “troublesome.”
The court should grant a stay of proceedings to “meaningfully denounce the misleading conduct” of the United States, she said.
America was “selective” in what it disclosed to Canada in its case for Meng's committal in the extradition request, she told the court.
“Partnership requires trust,” she said. “That trust will be informed by the good faith of our partners.”
Canada relies on its extradition partners to tell the truth without “deliberate manipulation” and a “cavalier disregard” for information, Duckett said.
Lawyers for the attorney general are expected to answer to the abuse of process claims in arguments later this month.
Documents presented to the court by Meng's lawyers and released to the media on Wednesday say the United States is a “repeat misleader,” that it mischaracterized evidence and omitted other information in an effort to establish a case of fraud.
“The requesting state has abused the judicial process, frustrated the extradition scheme, and undermined the trust and co-operation required between Canada and the requesting state to maintain international legal order,” the document says.
It says evidence supports Meng's claim of deliberate deception by the United States in its record of the case.
“Misleading a party is one thing; misleading the court is an affront of a whole other dimension.”
Meng is wanted on allegations that she misled HSBC about Huawei's relationship with another company, putting the bank at risk of violating American sanctions against Iran.
Both she and Huawei deny the allegations.
In July, Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes ruled against allowing new evidence in the extradition case because it did not “expressly” support Meng's claim that the American legal summary of allegations against her were unreasonable.
Duckett argued that the record of case provided by the United States summarizing the accusations against her client is “manifestly unreliable.”
The United States behaved in a way “to trick the court to make the case seem stronger,” she said.
“How will you know that the wool has been pulled over your eyes?” she asked, noting the judge is relying on the accuracy of the summary of information provided by the United States.
The court relies on the diligence, candour, accuracy and good faith of the United States in putting forward all the information, she said.
The court would not have known about the “depths of deception” by the United States had it not been for Meng's pursuit of HSBC documents, Duckett told the court.
The Huawei executive's legal team obtained evidence from her alleged victim, HSBC, through a court agreement in Hong Kong earlier this year.
The documents include internal email chains and spreadsheets that Meng's team argued show that the bank's senior executives knew more about Huawei's control over the company that did business in Iran than U.S. prosecutors claim.
However, Holmes did not allow the evidence to be admitted in the case.
Meng has been out on bail, living in one of her multimillion-dollar homes since her arrest at Vancouver's airport in December 2018.
Her detention has heated relations between Canada and China, and the arrests of Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig that followed it are widely seen as retaliation by the Chinese government.
Huawei Canada said in a statement Wednesday that it is confident of Meng's innocence.
“We will, as always, continue to support Ms. Meng's pursuit of justice,” it said.
A statement issued by the Department of Justice Canada on Tuesday said Meng has been and will continue to be afforded a fair process before the Supreme Court of British Columbia in accordance with Canadian law.
“It is an independent B.C. Supreme Court judge who determines whether the test for extradition is met and it is she who rules on whether Ms. Meng is committed for extradition or discharged,” the statement said. “This speaks to the independence of Canada's judicial system.”
Meng's lawyers will continue their arguments on Thursday. The actual extradition hearing is set for later this month.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 4, 2021.
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