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Judge grants delay in Meng extradition hearing

By RENA LI in Toronto | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-04-22 10:57

Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou returns to court following a break in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, March 29, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

The British Columbia Supreme Court on Wednesday granted Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou's request to delay the final part of her extradition hearing.

Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes did not explain her decision on the application from Meng's defense team. She would provide them in writing later in the next week and a new resume date will be determined later.

The hearings were scheduled to begin on April 26. Meng's lawyers asked Holmes on Monday to adjourn proceedings until Aug 3.

Defense attorneys argued that they need more time to review sealed HSBC documents released last week by a Hong Kong court, which they believe will prove the US misled Canada about the strength of fraud allegations against their client.

In requesting the delay, Meng's lawyers also cited concerns about the third wave of coronavirus variants across Canada, which could affect members of her team flying in from Ontario, Alberta and Quebec.

In a response filed with the court, the Crown, the lawyers for Canada's attorney general, objected to any further delay of proceedings, saying there is an "urgent need to adhere to the schedule".

The documents, filed in New York by Meng's US legal team, indicated that recent facts disclosed in the American criminal case will "turn on its head the allegation at the core of the extradition proceeding" — that Meng defrauded HSBC, according to CBC News.

Meng's lawyers have written to Attorney General David Lametti to ask him to "independently" investigate allegations of foreign state misconduct raised by the US, which the Crown opposed doing.

"At no time have we come (to the court) with meritless or frivolous applications," defense lawyer Richard Peck told the court.

Meng, 49, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, was arrested by Canada at the request of the US at Vancouver International Airport on Dec 1, 2018. She faces extradition to the US on fraud charges by allegedly putting the HSBC bank at risk of violating American sanctions against Iran, which Meng and Huawei have repeatedly denied.

Agencies contributed to this story.

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