Court documents released on Monday showed that Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou is raising a new argument in a Canadian court in a bid to fight extradition to the United States on bank fraud charges.
Meng’s lawyers claim the case that the United States submitted to Canada is “so replete with intentional and reckless error” that it violates her rights.
Meng was arrested in Vancouver on December 1, 2018, at the request of the United States, where she is charged with bank fraud and accused of misleading HSBC Holdings about Huawei’s business in Iran. Meng has said she is innocent and is fighting extradition.
The arrest has strained China’s relations with both the United States and Canada. A PowerPoint presentation that Meng gave to a HSBC banker in Hong Kong in 2013 has been cited as key evidence against her.
Meng said in that presentation that Skycom Tech – a company that operated in Iran – was “a business partner of Huawei,” while the United States has described it as an unofficial subsidiary.
Meng’s lawyers claimed the prosecutors omitted key disclosures Meng made in the presentation regarding Huawei’s ongoing business operations in Iran and that Skycom worked with Huawei in sales and service in Iran.
The lawyers said, without those disclosures, the US summary of the PowerPoint was “materially misleading.”
Meng’s lawyers also mentioned that the case said only “junior” HSBC employees knew of the relationship between Huawei and Skycom. Meng’s lawyers added that it is impossible that HSBC senior management was unaware of the relationship, given Huawei was one of HSBC’s biggest clients.
The lawyers also mentioned that a $900 million credit facility that the United States said HSBC had extended to Huawei did not exist.
The lawyers also said that the credit facility was never drawn on by Huawei and was canceled in June 2017.
On Monday, Assistant Chief Justice Heather Holmes of British Columbia Supreme Court said in a case conference that she wanted to be fully apprised of the US case before turning to Meng’s claims that her rights were violated when she was arrested.
A spokesman for US prosecutors declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the Canadian Justice minister declined to comment as the case remains before the courts.
HSBC spokesman Rob Sherman said that “We are not a party to this case, so it is not appropriate for us to comment on any particular evidence.”
A Canadian judge allowed last month the extradition case to continue, rejecting defense arguments that the US charges against Meng do not constitute crimes in Canada.