The ongoing hearings for top Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou heard a new request yesterday during court proceedings in Vancouver.
The Chief Financial Officer for China’s Huawei Technologies has been fighting a U.S extradition request for two years on charges of fraud.
Detained during a flight stopover in Vancouver she was later released on bail under house arrest. She has been living in one of her two Vancouver mansions and is allowed to move about the region any time between 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and anywhere within about a 160 square kilometre limit. She must also be accompanied by court ordered security guards and wear a GPS monitoring bracelet.
The court heard a new request this week that she not be required to be escorted by security guards. Her claim is that being in close proximity to rotating security personnel puts her at risk of a COVID infection.
The court heard however some little known facts about Meng’s lifestyle under house arrest.
It was revealed that Meng has made frequent shopping trips to high-end stores downtown and has had large private gatherings in restaurants and visits by a masseuse. She is also often in the company of many others outside the family ‘bubble’ including visits from other employees of the Chinese electronics giant, and by Chinese consulate staff.
She was also joined by her husband who flew in from Hong Kong last October and who immediately joined her instead of staying quarantined apart for two weeks as required. In December the same situation occurred when her 18-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter came to Vancouver.
The head of the court appointed security firm said on the other hand that his personnel were concerned for their own health safety due to Meng’s behaviour.
Doug Maynard also said that in terms of security, a foreign government may try to extract her or that she may be targeted by organized crime, and that those risks have increased as time has dragged on. This may be related to the fact that the Chinese consulate had chartered a huge jet to whisk her immediately back to China during an earlier court case that may have freed her.
While the court heard of Meng Wanzhou’s easy bail conditions and lavish lifestyle, others have compared this comfortable living with that of two Canadians in China who were arrested within days of Meng’s detention in Canada allegedly on spying charges.
In what has been labeled as “hostage diplomacy”, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, former diplomat and businessman respectively, have been kept in prisons in harsh conditions in cells where lights are never turned off, and while being interrogated frequently. They were also denied consular visits for months in violation of international treaties.
The Vancouver court in hearing the testimony on Tuesday said Meng’s conditions were reasonable as is.
Meng Wanzhou’s extradition trial is set to resume at the beginning of March with final hearings possibly in late April or May.
- CBC: J Proctor: Jan 12/21: Meng Wanzhou claims security detail placing her at risk of contracting COVID-19
- Bloomberg: N Obiko Pearson: Jan 12/21: Meng Wanzhou’s life on baiL Private dining, jet charter and more
- Globe and Mail: X Xu: jan 12/21: Meng Wanzhou asks court to loosen bail restrictions
- SCMP- I Young: Jan 13/21: Boeing 777 was chartered to fly Meng Wanzhou home, Canada court hears as she seeks to have bail relaxed