Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, leaves B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on May 27. She and her team were back in court today following rumours that she is negotiating a deal with the U.S. Justice Department that would allow her to return home of China. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

Meng Wanzhou returns to B.C. Supreme Court in controversial extradition case

Meng Wanzhou, the Huawei executive whose arrest two years ago at Vancouver International Airport set off a swirl of a three-country diplomatic and political gamesmanship, was set to return to B.C. Supreme Court Monday.

Canadian police and customs officers were to testify about her arrest on Dec. 1, 2018 at the request of the U.S., which wants her extradited to face bank fraud for the company’s dealings with Iran.

Her return to court follows media reports last week by the Wall Street Journal and Reuters news agency that Meng–who is currently under house arrest in Vancouver–and the U.S. Justice Department were negotiating a deal to allow her to return home to China if she admitted guilt to some of the allegations.

Neither the Wall Street Journal nor Reuters identified their sources.

Meng’s arrest infuriated Beijing, which says Washington’s case is politically motivated and her arrest soured relations between Ottawa and Beijing when, two Canadians–Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor–were arrested in China–apparently in retaliation shortly after Weng’s arrest at Vancouver International Airport in December 2018.

Michael Spavor, left, and Michael Kovrig were taken into custody in China in December 2018, shortly after Meng was arrested at Vancouer International Airport. They face charges of spying. (The Associated Press/International Crisis Group/The Canadian Press)

Kovrig, a former diplomat and Spavor, a businessman, have since been charged with espionage and Canada continues to press for their release.

On Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to comment about the Meng’s possible negotiated settlement, saying his “top priority” was the return of Kovrig and Spavor.

The Canadian government has refused to trade Meng for the two Canadians, saying a deal would endanger Canadians living abroad.

China has maintained the arrests have nothing to do with Meng, who has been in and out of court since her arrest, proclaiming her innocence and fighting the extradition order.

On Monday, her lawyers were expected to seek evidence for an abuse of process claim they plan to file next year.

They say officers with the RCMP and Canada Border Services Agency unlawfully searched and interrogated her after she arrived on a flight from Hong Kong on her way to Mexico and Argentina.

With files from CBC News (Jason Procter), The Canadian Press, RCI

Categories: Politics
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