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Wednesday, March 03, 2021, 12:14
Meng Wanzhou's team highlights new evidence
By Rena Li in Toronto
Wednesday, March 03, 2021, 12:14 By Rena Li in Toronto

Lawyers for Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou were in court on Monday arguing evidence should be introduced that would undermine the case to have their client extradited to the United States.

They claim she was subjected to an abuse of process, and that former US president Donald Trump "poisoned" extradition proceedings against her.

Meng and her defense team returned to the British Columbia Supreme Court on Monday to fight her extradition to the United States

Meng and her defense team returned to the British Columbia Supreme Court on Monday to fight her extradition to the United States. The extradition fight enters a final round in Canada.

Meng attended the hearing wearing a mask and an ankle tracking bracelet. She followed the proceedings with an interpreter while reading documents on her lap and taking sips of water.

READ MORE: China urges release of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou

Over the next several weeks, Meng's team will present several justifications for halting the extradition proceedings. On Wednesday they will be back in court to argue her arrest was politically motivated.

Soon after Meng's arrest in 2018, then-president Trump made a statement to a Reuters reporter that he reserved the right to weigh in on the case if it would help the US secure a trade deal with China or serve other US national security interests.

Canada's attorney general said that the defense argument is "irrelevant" now that Trump is out of office.

Meng was arrested by Canada at the request of the US at Vancouver International Airport on Dec 1, 2018. She has been accused of bank fraud for allegedly misleading HSBC to break US sanctions against Iran, which Meng and Huawei have denied.

China has restated that the arrest of Meng was an "utter political conspiracy" of the Trump administration trying to crack down on Huawei and other Chinese technology companies.

ALSO READ: China again urges Canada to free Meng Wanzhou

On Saturday, Huawei Canada said in a statement that "the court will hear arguments related to the four branches of abuse of process", including "political motivation, unlawful detention, material omissions and misstatements, and violations of customary international law".

The Crown in Canada, which represents the US in the proceedings, argued that there's no evidence Trump made good on his words, and any possible influence he could have had on the case ceased with his term in office, CBC News reported.

Michael Byers, an expert on international law, told CBC that he doubts the defense team will have much success convincing Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes that the US Department of Justice has been swayed by political considerations.

'Manifestly unreliable'

In addition, Meng's lawyers said there's evidence showing the case against her is "manifestly unreliable", and wants that evidence admitted into the record.

According to The Canadian Press, Meng's lawyer Frank Addario said emails between staff at Huawei and HSBC show the bank was well aware that Huawei controlled another company called Skycom. Therefore Meng wasn't responsible for any violation of US sanctions again Iran by the bank, he said.

He told the hearing that staff at HSBC knew that Skycom was sold to Canicula, that Canicula was Skycom's parent company, and that Huawei controlled the Canicula account.

Addario is asking the judge to admit affidavits including emails and bank account information into evidence to support the defense team's case at Meng's committal hearing, which is expected to stretch into mid-May. A decision on the extradition request isn't expected until late in the year.

Agencies contributed to this story.

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