Meng Wanzhou arrives for a court hearing in January 2020 wearing her GPS tracking ankle bracelet (Maggie MacPherson- CBC)

A setback for Huawei executive’s case against extradition to U.S.

Lawyers for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou have lost their case to have secret government documents released to them.

The Chinese executive was detained December 1, 2018,  by authorities in Vancouver. She was on a stopover flight following an extradition request by the U.S. on alleged fraud and conspiracy charges related to U.S sanctions against Iran.Heve

Federal court justice Catherine Kane ruled yesterday that  information from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) that the Attorney-General does not want revealed, is not crucial to Meng’s case.

A first round in court was to determine if the charges in the U.S would also be considered charges in Canada.

In May, a judge decided they were which enabled the extradition case to proceed, However, Meng’s lawyers claimed her rights were violated under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as she was detained and questioned for three hours before being arrested.

The lawyers claim that there was a conspiracy between American and Canadian law enforcement agencies and that Canadian border agents exceeded their authority in an effort  to compel evidence from her to be shared later with the RCMP and FBI.

This argument has to be ruled upon before the extradition trial can proceed, and if in Meng’s favour, she would be freed.

In a highly unusual move, Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou staged a posed ‘victory’ photo with friends and family on the steps of the B.C. Supreme Court building in downtown Vancouver on the weekend before the ruling on her extradition case in May. The ruling went against (Ben Nelms/CBC)

To prove their case her lawyers requested CSIS documents prepared prior to and following Meng’s detention.

The Attorney-General has already provided over 1,000 pages of documents including six heavily blacked out documents. The AG said the blacked-out information could not be revealed as it would compromise national security.

Justice Kane ruled the missing information was not relevant to Meng’s arguments noting, “The redacted information does not respond to or illuminate the allegations of abuse of process and is not the type of information that counsel for Ms. Meng noted would be relevant.”

The pages of heavily redacted documents from CSIS. The court ruled the information was not important to the Meng case and would compromise national security if revealed. (Jason Proctor-CBC)

Meng will next appear in court in late September and again in February 2021, as the ‘abuse of rights’ claim continues. She is living in one of her two mansions in Vancouver and is move about the city as she wants but is monitored around the clock.

The case has infuriated China which has consistently claimed Canada is abusing its authority and the law.

In what is widely seen as retribution, China quickly arrested two Canadians, Michael Kovrig,a former diplomat, and Michael Spavor, an entrepreneur. They have been charged with spying and are being kept in harsh Chinese prisons, and have not been allowed consular visits.

China has also sentenced four other Canadians to death on drug charges.

Reporters gather in January outside of one of Meng’s two luxury houses in Vancouver, Each court appearance attracts media attention and occasional protesters both for and against Meng and China (Evan Mitsui-CBC)

Canada’s foreign minister, Francois-Philippe Champagne, met with his Chinese counter part in Rome yesterday and released a statement saying, “Canada continues to call for immediate consular access to Mr. Kovrig and Mr. Spavor. China’s actions are in violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations”

China continues to say it’s up to Canada to resolve the situation, blaming it on “the unprovoked detention of a Chinese citizen”

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