The Meng Wanzhou legal proceedings continue Thursday with her defence lawyers responding to new information disclosed by the Crown from the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
Meng lawyer Scott Fenton told the court that – upon learning the CBSA did pass Meng’s electronic devices and passwords to the RCMP – the defence studied the additional information disclosed by the Crown and related metadata recorded on Meng’s iPhone, iPad and other devices.
Fenton told the court that metadata shows the devices being turned on on Dec 4 – three days after Meng’s arrest – and being put in airplane mode. The actions, Fenton said, corroborate with RCMP notes that also showed police recording the devices’ serial numbers and SIM card information.
The defence further alleged that the RCMP then passed this information to an FBI attaché, which differs from Crown accounts that Meng’s phone has not been accessed after mistakenly being acquired by the RCMP on Dec 1.
“There is strong circumstantial evidence - if not proof - that significant information has been compelled from [Meng], and a number of serial numbers have been provided to the FBI,” Fenton said. “I would submit this is a very serious matter.”
Justice Heather Holmes asked – if it is clear that there’s improper procedure involving the seizure of Meng’s phones – why the defence still seeks additional information from police.
Fenton responded that the goal of the current proceedings is to prove “an air of reality” of the Canadian authorities abusing the process of a border check for procuring evidence for a criminal case, and there may be more information that’s in existence that will further clarify what happened.
“To characterize [the passwords being given to the RCMP] as an error misrepresents the seriousness of the conduct,” Fenton said. “Everything about this is purposeful.”
Crown lawyer Robert Frater, in response to Fenton’s claims, disputed the defence’s accusation that Meng’s serial numbers on her devices were passed on to the FBI.
“We can show that the information was not shared with the FBI,” Frater said, adding that it may take additional affidavits from the RCMP to do so. “Their case seems to depend on that fact which is not a fact.”
Court has thus ordered the Crown to provide the relevant affidavits by next Wednesday- adding that the defence will respond by Oct. 16 to indicate if it will request to cross-examine the evidence.
Meanwhile, the media consortium on the case will request live broadcast of the extradition hearing proceedings next year on Nov. 27. Meng, meanwhile, has been remanded from court appearances until January 20, 2020.