Huawei exec accuses Canada of destroying evidence in an extradition case

Meng Wanzhou leaves her home in Vancouver yesterday. (AP photo)

VANCOVER: Lawyers for Huawei CEO Meng Wanzhou Thursday accused Canadian authorities of destroying evidence, saying federal police had scanned emails and computers of a senior officer involved in the rendition case.

Meng, the financial director of the Chinese telecom giant, is fighting the extradition of the wanted men to the United States as it faces charges of bank fraud and conspiracy in connection with alleged violations of a Huawei subsidiary of US sanctions on Iran.

Both Meng and Huawei deny wrongdoing.

In court documents, defense attorneys alleged that Canada violated Meng’s rights when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police deleted Sgt Bin Zhang’s computer files, text messages and emails after he retired from the force in 2019.

Zhang sent an email to the US FBI after Meng’s arrest, which her attorneys indicated incorrectly contained her electronic device pass codes and serial numbers.

The Canadian Attorney General denied this allegation.

In the court file, the office said: “There is no evidence that the RCMP or the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) are involved in the systematic destruction of evidence.”

“There is no indication that the events that (Meng) claimed took place.

Zhang, who retired to work in the Macau Special Administrative Region in China, swore in an affidavit that he had never sent any of Meng’s device information to the US authorities.

But when he was called to testify, he refused to appear and appointed his lawyer, which Meng’s lawyers described as “indefensible”.

“This destruction of evidence results in a separate violation of Ms. Meng’s rights,” her lawyers said.

“This was done at a time when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and (the US Department of Justice) were notified of Sgt Zhang’s relationship with the proceedings.”

The confiscation of Meng’s mobile phones and other devices while in custody at Vancouver Airport on December 1, 2018, has been the subject of several days of her handover hearings this week in British Columbia Supreme Court.

One of her attorneys, Mona Duckett, claimed Thursday that Canadian border guards and federal police conspired to obtain Meng phones and passcodes by order of the FBI, and they had no legitimate reason for customs or immigration to do so.

Canada denies violating Meng’s rights. Government attorneys demanded that the judge drop the allegations, which they said were “only supported by speculation and insinuation,” and to move forward with the extradition process.

Meng’s extradition case is scheduled to expire in mid-May.

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