Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou has been granted release on $10 million bail, including a $7 million cash deposit.
The decision, announced at the close of Tuesday's bail hearing in Vancouver, was greeted by applause in the courtroom. Most of the public in attendance are from the Chinese community. Meng will next appear in court February 6 to set firm dates for an extradition hearing.
Restrictions in the bail terms include a curfew of 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. unless she gets prior permission or in case of medical emergency. Meng must also surrender all passports and stay in designated areas within Vancouver, Richmond and part of North Shore, and must stay clear of Vancouver International Airport. She will wear an ankle bracelet for tracking and be accompanied by two private security officers anytime outside her home.
Earlier in the hearing, Meng put forward a new list of potential sureties who would guarantee that the executive would not abscond if released into the public.
Defence lawyers presented four persons, including Meng’s Vancouver realtor and a former Huawei employee now working in B.C. as an insurance agent, as potential sureties.
All four potential sureties are said to be willing to put up equity in their homes - including a $1.8 million home in Vancouver in one case - or retirement savings to guarantee Meng would not violate release conditions.
The defence also reiterated Meng’s husband Xiaozong Liu’s potential as surety, citing case precedents in Ontario. Lawyers noted a tourist visa - on which Liu entered Canada this time - can be extended, and holders can be considered a temporary resident.
Canadian prosecutors, however, again rebuked such claims, saying that Liu’s non-permanent status diminishes his ability to carry out a surety’s chief purpose: to supervise the suspect (Meng). Thus, prosecutors are requesting that Liu be removed as a potential surety, as well as more cash on the line for the guarantors.
“Mr Liu’s and Ms Meng’s interests are too aligned,” the prosecutor told the court.
All new potential sureties presenters Tuesday are Canadian citizens.
The central issue appears to be whether Meng’s husband is an appropriate surety – and if any of the sureties can function in their primary roles of keeping an eye on Meng.
Defence lawyers told the court that Meng mentioned in conversation with legal counsel that she wanted to spend more time with family if she is released and may be interested in pursuing a PhD at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.