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Canadian judge rejects new request in Huawei extradition case




A Canadian judge has rejected a request from Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who wanted testimony from employees of the Chinese telecommunications giant to be admitted as evidence in its fight against extradition to the United States.

Meng – whose father is Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei – is fighting a two-year extradition battle on charges of violating US sanctions against Iran.

She is accused of defrauding HSBC by falsely distorting the ties between Huawei and its subsidiary Skycom, putting the bank at risk of violating sanctions against Tehran as it continues to clear US dollar transactions for Huawei.

Lawyers for Meng, 49, believe the affidavits could show the banking giant was aware of Huawei’s ties to Skycom, which sold telecommunications equipment to Iran.

The evidence would help show that the prosecution’s case was “patently unreliable,” lawyers said.

In a decision released Friday evening, Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes of the Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled that the testimony requested by Meng’s defense “relates to matters within the realm of a trial and not of the extradition hearing “.

Holmes said it was not for him to rule on credibility issues at an extradition hearing.

“The proposed evidence could not do more than offer an alternative narrative to that presented” by the United States in its case against Meng, Holmes wrote.

“These would take the extradition hearing beyond its own scope.”

Last week, Huawei confirmed that Meng was suing HSBC in Hong Kong for access to bank records which it said will help it fight his extradition.

In February, she lost a similar legal offer in London.

Meng’s extradition battle in Vancouver has entered its final phase. Hearings resume Monday and are expected to end in mid-May, barring appeals.

Washington accused Huawei of stealing US trade secrets and banned US semiconductor chip makers from selling to it.

The affair sparked a major diplomatic rift between Canada and China.

Meng was arrested on a U.S. warrant during a layover in Vancouver in December 2018 and is being held under house arrest at her Vancouver mansion.

Two Canadians – former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor – were detained in China days later in apparent retaliation for Meng’s arrest. The couple have since had virtually no contact with the outside world.

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