Hours from now, a British Columbia court will decide whether Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou will be free or face further legal hurdles.
The Chinese executive was detained on December 1, 2018, in Canada during a flight stopover in Vancouver following a U.S. extradition request on charges of fraud and violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes of the B.C. Supreme Court will decide on the issue of ‘double criminality’ meaning whether the U.S. accusations would also be a crime in Canada.
Meng’s lawyers have argued the case is not about fraud but about U.S. trade sanctions against Iran which Canada does not have and so she should be freed.
China issues further veiled warnings
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, said on Tuesday, that the detention of Meng is.”a serious political incident that grossly violates the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese citizen”.
China experts and even the Canadian Prime Minister have said that because the legal system in China is basically an extension of the political system , the Chinese do not understand that the Canadian legal system is independent of politics.
The Chinese statement repeated that the detention should not have occurred and that, “The Canadian side should immediately correct its mistake, release Ms. Meng and ensure her safe return to China at an early date so as to avoid any continuous harm to China-Canada relations”
A decision is expected within hours, and if there is no double criminality Meng would be free to go. The Crown could appeal, but in the interval Meng would be free to return to China.
If the judge rules against her, the next phase would be to argue about violation of her rights during the arrest, the case for extradition would only be heard afterward in a process that could drag on for months, even years.
- CBC: E. Dyer: May 27/20: Today’s court decision on Meng Wanzhou could rattle the Canada-China relationship
- Global News: A.Russell: May 26/20: China warns of ‘continuous harm’ to relations with China unless Meng Wanzhou is released
- Canadian Press (via CTF): May 27/20: Key court ruling coming today in Menq extradtion case
- CBC: J.Proctor: May 25/20: Premature victory lap? Meng Wanzhou poses ahead of momentous court decision
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs China- statements