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Huawei CFO’s legal team resumes defense in Canadian court

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) – Lawyers for a senior executive at Chinese communications giant Huawei Technologies told a court on Monday that there was no evidence she made any false statements resulting in a loss for a bank or at risk of suffering a loss for the bank. .

Meng Wanzhou, daughter of the founder of Huawei and chief financial officer of the company, was arrested at Vancouver airport in late 2018 at the request of US authorities. His arrest infuriated Beijing, which views his case as a political step to prevent China’s rise to power.

The United States wants Meng extradited to face fraud charges, alleging she committed fraud by deceiving HSBC bank about the company’s business dealings in Iran. He accuses Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company called Skycom to sell equipment to Iran in violation of US sanctions.

The lengthy extradition process enters a phase that involves arguments over the US government’s request to extradite Meng.

Defense attorney Mark Sandler said the United States must prove that during a meeting with an HSBC executive, Meng made false statements that put the bank at risk of violating sanctions.

“The Requesting State has not established economic loss or risk of loss,” Sandler said. “In any event, such a loss. . . was not caused by Meng’s alleged misrepresentation. “

During the meeting, Meng said Huawei and Skycom continue to do business in Iran, Sandler said.

After the meeting, HSBC opted to take the money deposited by Skycom and pass it through the United States, he said.

“Any exposure to HSBC was of its own accord and was not caused by anything represented to it by Ms. Meng,” Sandler said. “There is no evidence that Huawei or Skycom played a role in how HSBC chose to clear the funds.”

Lawyers for the Canadian Department of Justice argued that during the meeting with the bank’s official, Meng had been dishonest in not revealing Huawei’s relationship with Skycom and that this put the bank in danger of violating US sanctions. against Iran.

Meng, who attended the hearing with an electronic ankle monitoring device, followed the proceedings through an interpreter.

Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes is not expected to rule on Meng’s extradition until the end of the year. Whatever its decision, it will likely be appealed.

Last week, a Chinese court sentenced Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor to 11 years in prison for espionage.

Spavor and fellow Canadian Michael Kovrig were arrested in December 2018 in apparent retaliation for Meng’s arrest.

In another case, the Superior People’s Court in northeast China’s Liaoning Province dismissed the appeal of Canadian Robert Schellenberg, whose sentence of 15 years in prison for drug trafficking was increased to died in January 2019 following Meng’s arrest.

Meng remains on bail in Vancouver and lives in a mansion.

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