Vancouver: Ming’s legal team said today that the Canadian border agent who questioned Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou before her arrest at Vancouver Airport in 2018 had exceeded his jurisdiction, in an effort to gather evidence for the FBI.
Among the questions the agent asked about whether Huawei had an office in Iran, Defense attorney Mona Duckett told the judge, an interrogation line she argued had nothing to do with immigration and her admission to Canada.
“It was an attempt to gather evidence for a single audience,” Duckett said, as the hearing for Meng’s handover entered the final stage of arguments.
The US accuses Ming, 49, of misleading HSBC about Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s business dealings in Iran, causing the bank to breach US sanctions.
The Canadian government has described the defense team’s argument as an unfounded “conspiracy” and stated that officials on both sides of the border followed due process.
If Meng is extradited, he will face trial for bank fraud in the United States.
Meng, who says she is innocent, is fighting her extradition from Vancouver’s house arrest.
Her legal team wants to dismiss the case, citing procedural violations during her arrest and violation of her rights.
Canadian border officials questioned Meng for three hours before Canadian police arrested her on the basis of a US warrant.
Meng’s legal team alleges that Canadian and US authorities have coordinated the use of CBSA’s additional investigative powers to interrogate her without the presence of a lawyer.
Canada Border Services Agency director Sangeet Dillon, one of the officers who had questioned Meng, testified in November 2020 that the Canadian police had not given him any instructions on what to ask Meng.
Another CBSA officer involved last year testified that border officials were concerned about keeping their investigation separate from the police arrest of extradition.
Duckett was skeptical about what she called Dillon’s “excuse” for raising the issue of Iran, which was that he had read a Wikipedia article on Huawei that mentioned that country.
Meng’s defense accused several police and border witnesses of providing “false” testimony in their memos about the alleged violations of the operation.
Meng’s arrest caused the breakdown of diplomatic relations between Ottawa and Beijing.
Shortly after her arrest, China arrested Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Coffrig on charges of espionage.
Spavor faced the trial yesterday. The Covrig trial is due to start on Monday.
Meng’s case is expected to end in May, although the decision can be appealed, which could delay the final outcome.