Vancouver: A Canadian judge rejected a request from Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who wanted to accept testimony from employees of the Chinese telecom giant as evidence in its fight against extradition to the United States.
Ming – whose father was Huawei’s founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei – is fighting a two-year battle against extradition over accusations that the company has violated US sanctions on Iran.
It is accused of defrauding HSBC by misrepresenting false links between Huawei and its subsidiary Skycom, which puts the bank at risk of violating sanctions against Tehran as it continues to liquidate transactions in US dollars to Huawei.
Lawyers for Ming, 49, believe the affidavits could show the banking giant was aware of the links between Huawei and Skycom, which sold telecom equipment to Iran.
The evidence will help prove that the prosecution’s case was “clearly unreliable,” according to the lawyers.
In a decision issued late Friday, Assistant Chief Justice Heather Holmes of the Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled that the testimony requested by Meng’s defense “relates to appropriate matters within the scope of the trial, not the hearing.”
Holmes said she has no control over credibility issues in an extradition hearing.
Holmes wrote, “The proposed evidence could do little more than provide an alternative narrative than the one identified by the United States in its case against Meng.
“This will take the extradition hearing out of its proper scope,” she added.
Last week, Huawei confirmed that Meng was submitting HSBC to a Hong Kong court to access bank records it says will help it fight its extradition.
In February, she lost a similar legal offer in London.
Meng’s extradition battle in Vancouver entered its final stage.
Summarizing the hearing today is expected to end in mid-May, excluding the appeal.
Washington has accused Huawei of stealing US trade secrets and banned US semiconductor chip makers from selling it.
The case caused a major diplomatic row between Canada and China.
Meng was arrested on the basis of a US warrant while on a stopover in Vancouver in December 2018 and is being held under house arrest at her Vancouver mansion.
Two Canadians – former diplomat Michael Covrig and businessman Michael Spavor – were arrested in China days later in apparent retaliation for Meng’s arrest.
Since then, the spouses have almost no contact with the outside world.