Huawei CFO lawyers accuse the US of "strategically crafted" fraud

Lawyers for Huawei Technologies chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou argued in Canadian court on Wednesday that the US "strategically crafted" a misleading fraud case against the executive and acted in "bad faith" towards her.

"This case is built on misinformation and selectively omitted facts. The arrest of Ms Meng was a master class on how to violate someone's rights," said Alykhan Velshi, Huawei Canada's Vice President of corporate affairs, told AFP before the proceedings."

The CFO who is also the daughter of the company's founder was arrested at Vancouver's airport in 2018. The arrest order was requested by the United States, charging Wanzhou with fraud — a move which was frowned at by Beijing and considered as a political move against China.

The United States accuses Huawei Technologies of using Hong Kong shell company, Skycom to sell equipment to Iran, violating US sanctions. Meng allegedly committed fraud by misleading HSBC bank about the communications giant's dealings with Iran, according to the US.

One of the defense lawyers Mona Duckett said the United States not only omitted facts but also obscured the law and "inaccurately summarized documents to support a false narrative." The defense lawyer added that that the logical thing for the court to do is to deny extradition request and avoid facing trial in the United States.

Association Chief Justice Heather Holmes will hear final judgements over the next three weeks. The final judgement will determine whether or not Meng would be extradited to face trial in the US. Although Holmes may not make her ruling until later in the year. Whatever the final judgement is, the decision will likely be appealed.

The hearings are being held in British Columbia Supreme Court.

Meng' lawyers argued in previous hearings that the extraction should be halted because she was detained and questioned by the Canadian. Order Security Agency officers without her lawyer — a move that benefited the US authorities. Her personal electronics were seized and put in a special bag to prevent wiping of any vital information. The officials compelled her to give up her passcode before the official arrest.

The defense lawyers argued that former US president Donald Trump threatened to use Meng's arrest to bargain chip in trade negotiations with a China.

Shortly after Meng's arrest, China arrested Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig in apparent retaliation, charging them with spying. They have since remained in custody with restricted access to Canadian consular officials. The Canadian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said its consular officials had online visits with Kovrig and Spavor on Tuesday. It added that officials continue to provide consular services to them.

"The Canadian government remains deeply concerned by the arbitrary detention by Chinese authorities of these two Canadians since December 2018 and continues to call for their immense release," the ministry said in an email.

Meanwhile, Meng has been free on bail in Vancouver and is living in a mansion. She is only required to wear an ankle monitoring bracelet at all times.

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