Huawei chief financial officer faces Canadian court on US extradition request

Huawei chief financial officer faces Canadian court on US extradition request

Today, a Canadian court will begin hearing the case for the extradition of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou to

meng huwaei extradition hearing

Photo: The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck

Today, a Canadian court will begin hearing the case for the extradition of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou to the United States. The business executive is accused of wire and bank fraud related to evading American sanctions on Iran.

Ms Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada at the request of the US on December 1. The case has entangled Canada in a larger dispute between China and the US over accusations that the Chinese government is using Huawei as a front to conduct espionage. Soon after Ms Meng’s arrest, two Canadians—former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor—were detained in China on allegations of endangering Chinese national security.

While China maintains that the charges against Ms Meng are politically motivated, it is likely that she will be extradited to the US. Indeed, the Canadian court’s role is not to determine guilt, but to judge whether the charges constitute a crime in Canada—which wire and bank fraud certainly do. A long appeals process will likely follow any decision, though, so it would likely be years before Ms Meng is actually sent to the US, if ever.

If Washington and Beijing agree to a future trade deal, it is possible that the Meng issue could subside as well. But, before a potential deal materialises, and for the foreseeable future, expect tensions over the Huawei issue to remain high between the US, Canada and China.

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