December 10, 2020
By Sarah Berman
VANCOUVER (Reuters) – A Canadian border official who recounted the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s “persistent” requests for Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou’s travel history after her arrest two years ago is expected to finish testifying on Thursday.
The final week of witness cross examination, which is part of Meng’s U.S. extradition case, comes in the wake of news last week that U.S. prosecutors were discussing a deal with lawyers for Meng to resolve criminal charges against her, signaling a potential end to a case that has strained ties between the United States, China and Canada.
Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested on a U.S. warrant for bank fraud at Vancouver International Airport on Dec. 1, 2018. She is accused of misrepresenting Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s dealings with Iran, putting one of its lenders, HSBC Holdings, at risk of violating United States trade sanctions.
Meng, 48, has denied the charges and mounted a defense, asking that her extradition be thrown out because of abuses of process.
Her lawyers have argued that U.S. and Canadian authorities coordinated ahead of her arrest, using the extended investigative powers of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to interrogate her without a lawyer present. They further allege that private information collected by the CBSA was inappropriately shared with the FBI.
Prosecutors say the investigation and arrest followed standard procedures and the extradition should move forward.
CBSA Chief Nicole Goodman, who oversaw a staff of 250 at Vancouver’s airport when Meng was arrested, testified Wednesday that she had advised the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) not to use passcodes to Meng’s electronic devices collected by CBSA.
Goodman told the police officer responsible for handling exhibits in Meng’s case that the passcodes had been given in error, she testified. Sharing passcodes of Meng’s electronic devices has become a flashpoint in the case, with her lawyers saying that it amounts to violation of her civil rights.
Relations between China and Canada have been strained since Meng’s arrest. China arrested Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig soon after Meng’s arrest and charged them for espionage.
On Wednesday, Canadian Foreign Minister Francois Champagne called the Canadian men “incredible examples of perseverance and determination.”
(Reporting by Sarah Berman in Vancouver; Editing by Denny Thomas)
The post Canadian border official set to wrap up testimony in Huawei CFO U.S. extradition case first appeared on One America News Network.