VANCOUVER: A Canadian border official involved in questioning Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou before her 2018 arrest told court Thursday that she was in danger of flying and had the resources to flee the country without informing authorities.
Prosecutors are trying to prove that Meng’s arrest and investigation were over the stage, while Meng’s lawyers seek to prove that Canadian and US authorities unlawfully directed a Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) examination of Meng in order to use the agency’s additional investigative powers to collect information from it without the presence of a lawyer.
Meng, 48, is accused of misrepresenting Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s dealings with Iran, which puts an HSBC lender at risk of violating US trade sanctions.
It has denied the charges, instituted a defense, and demanded that her extradition be revoked due to alleged collusion between Canadian and US authorities, among other reasons.
CBC officers testified that they had reason to arrest and investigate Meng, regardless of the pending arrest warrant.
CBSA supervisor Sumeth Katrajada listed all of the countries Meng visited based on the stamps in her passport, including Mexico, Senegal, Colombia, Brunei, and the United Arab Emirates.
He told the court that the visit to some of these “exporting countries” was a “source of national security concern,” and were grounds for inspecting Meng’s devices.
“She has the resources to leave Canada, not to come for the examination,” said Catragada. Ms. Meng is a Senior Executive Director at one of the largest companies in the world. Canada is a very large country with many small airports. “
Defense attorney Mona Duckett Katrajada challenged the “deficiencies” of his memo and record during the investigation.
Catragada admitted that he did not take note of the meeting he had with the police on the morning of the arrest, the gathering of devices, potential threats to national security, or the fact that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) was awaiting Meng’s arrest after him was a complete examination.
But Katrajada denied that these were deliberate omissions, or that the flaws were a source of concern to senior border officials.
Meng’s arrest triggered a diplomatic dispute between Ottawa and Beijing. Shortly after her detention, China arrested Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Coffrig on charges of espionage. The two men are still in detention.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he had no regrets about Meng’s arrest regardless of the foreign policy implications, pointing to a “long-standing extradition treaty with our closest ally” and adding that Canada’s laws cannot be followed “when appropriate. When it’s easy. “
The hearings at the Supreme Court in British Columbia this week and next week consist of testimony from witnesses from the Canadian Border Services Agency and Royal Canadian Mounted Police officials, regarding their conduct during Meng’s investigation and arrest.
It reviewed recent testimonies and examined subtle developments at the airport on the day of Meng’s arrest.
Another Royal Canadian Mounted Police official, now retired, and Meng’s attorneys claim he illegally passed identification details of her electronic devices to the US FBI, declined to testify.
Court documents show that prosecutors initially refused to issue notes regarding his testimony due to “witness safety” concerns.