UPDATED: Huawei exec offers to enter de facto house arrest

Lawyers for Meng Wanzhou tell Vancouver court the CFO for tech giant Huawei is willing to be supervised by private security firm

The bail hearing of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou resumed in Vancouver Monday, with Meng’s lawyers proposing that she would enter de facto house arrest under the supervision of a private security firm.

Lawyers said Meng is willing to pay for the services of Lions Gate Risk Management, a security firm launched by former RCMP officer Scot Filer in 2008.

In addition, Meng would wear GPS tracking devices and be moved around the city by a team of drivers and security officers. This is in addition to a security detail at Meng’s property on W. 28th Avenue in Vancouver.

Prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley, however, confirmed in court that Lions Gate has worked mostly on corporate executive security details and has never conducted an operation of monitoring a suspect out on bail in the community.

In addition, the court noted that Lions Gate networks - while encrypted to Canadian military standards - use existing mobile networks to communicate between devices. Filer could not guarantee the security and mobile networks would not be compromised.

When called to the stand, Recovery Science Corp. partner Stephen Tan - whose company would be providing the GPS surveillance ankle brackets and monitoring services - said Recovery Science has worked on high profile bail cases and currently has 113 active monitoring cases.  

But Tan also notes there has been one case since the company’s launch in 2009 where a suspect on bail had escaped monitoring and was not caught.

Meng’s defence also dismissed Canadian prosecutors’ position at the Huawei executive’s absence from the United States – she has not entered the country since March 2017 – that it was an admission of guilt and that she was avoiding American authorities.

“That’s a speculative construction,” the defence said in court, noting that prior to her arrest she was slated to travel to Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina and France before returning to China on this current trip.

“She is a businesswoman doing her job all over the world. We don’t all have to spend time in the United States.”

Meng is accused of selling telecom technology to Iran in contravention to a 2009-2014 sanction imposed by the United States. Huawei is the world’s second largest mobile phone maker and a leading telecom multinational, but security experts in countries like Canada and the United States have long viewed the company’s reach and ties to Beijing as a risk to national security.

The hearing is well attended by hundreds of people, as was Friday’s, including large portions of the Chinese Canadian community. Some people in attendance were handing out paper slips with a WeChat QR code, allowing access to social media chat groups supporting Meng’s fight against extradition to the United States. 

“If you want Huawei to continue to bring pride to the Motherland, and if you want to support them, scan and join,” one slip read. “ Overseas Chinese unite!”

The hearing will reconvene this afternoon (December 10).

(More to come)