Chinese telecom giant Huawei's chief financial officer faces United States fraud charges related to sanctions-breaking business dealings with Iran, a Canadian court heard Friday, a week after she was detained on an American extradition request.
Two state-run media outlets in China have come out with blistering attacks on the U.S. related to the arrest in recent days of Huawei's CFO Meng Wanzhou, who faces extradition here, saying the arrest is just a backdoor way for the USA to try to hobble the company. Meng is awaiting a court hearing on her bail application in Vancouver, Canada, where she was arrested on a request by the US.
The letter said that Ms Meng had been detained on Saturday while transiting through Canada and that she faced extradition to the United States.
After almost six hours of arguments and counter-arguments, no decision was reached and the hearing was adjourned until Monday.
The lawyer said that Meng had personally denied to American bankers any direct connections between Huawei and SkyCom, when in fact "SkyCom is Huawei".
The prosecutor opposed bail, arguing that Meng was a high flight risk with few ties to Vancouver and that her family's wealth would mean than even a multi-million-dollar surety would not weigh heavily should she breach conditions. The company believes the Canadian and United States legal systems will ultimately reach a just conclusion.
Japan is planning to halt government purchases of equipment from China's two largest telecommunications firms, Huawei and ZTE, amid security concerns, Yomiuri Shimbun reported Friday.
China's foreign ministry has pushed Canada to reveal the reason for the arrest and the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa has branded Meng's arrest a serious violation of human rights.
Meng Wanzhou, right, attends a bail hearing at British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018.
"You can rely upon her personal dignity", he said, adding that to breach a court order "would be to humiliate and embarrass her father, who she loves". British Telecom, one of the U.K.'s largest internet providers, said this week it will not use Huawei's equipment in its 5G mobile network when it is rolled out in the United Kingdom, according to the BBC.
Should a judge agree to extradite Meng, she would have multiple chances to appeal the decision.
Official details on the reasons for Meng's arrest have been slim, with the Star Vancouver reporting that USA authorities believe that Meng knew that a company called SkyCom, which did business with Iran while the country was under global sanctions, was a subsidiary of Huawei until at least 2014.
"The Chinese government should seriously mull over the United States tendency to abuse legal procedures to suppress China's high-tech enterprises", said the nationalist tabloid Global Times in an editorial. Huawei reportedly also received several warnings over violating Iranian sanctions. The Crown lawyer told the hearing that the US alleges Huawei Technologies used subsidiary Skycom to do business with Iran, violating sanctions against that country.
Huawei operated Skycom as an "unofficial subsidiary", he said, adding that Skycom employees had Huawei email addresses and badges and former employees have said there was no distinction between the two companies. But we're going to have to live with that.
Meng entered the courtroom in downtown Vancouver at 10:25 a.m. local time, wearing a green sweatsuit and accompanied by her lawyer.
The extradition process could take months, even years, if appeals are made in the case.
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