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Huawei exec’s extradition hearing in Canada comes to a close

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Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou returns to British Columbia Supreme Court on August 18, 2021, in Vancouver, Canada./AFP
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Aug 28, 2021 - 07:00 AM

VANCOUVER, CANADA — Chinese Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s fight in a Canadian court against extradition to the United States to face fraud and conspiracy charges wrapped up on Wednesday after nearly 1,000 days of legal wranglings and diplomatic brawls.

The daughter of company founder and CEO, Ren Zhengfei, is accused of defrauding HSBC Bank by falsely misrepresenting links between Huawei and Skycom, a subsidiary that sold telecoms equipment to Iran, putting the bank at risk of violating US sanctions against Tehran, as it continued to clear US dollar transactions for Huawei.

Supreme Court of British Columbia Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes said she will on October 21 likely set a date to deliver her ruling.

If transferred to the United States for trial and subsequently convicted, Meng could face more than 30 years in a US prison.

Her arrest in December 2018 during a stopover in Vancouver caused a deep diplomatic rift between Ottawa and Beijing, which has accused Washington of trying to crush its international tech giant Huawei.

Days later China detained two Canadians, businessman Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig.

Both were tried in March for espionage — charges that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said were “trumped up.” Last week Spavor was sentenced to 11 years in prison as the final arguments in Meng’s case got underway.

Meng’s extradition hearing in the last week heard her lawyers reject the US allegations against her, accuse Canadian and US officials of abuse of process and call for her release.

Canadian government lawyers representing US interests countered that there is sufficient evidence to commit Meng for extradition.

A final decision rests with Canada’s attorney general.

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