The court has granted the application by Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou to postpone her extradition hearings by three months to August, Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes said today.
Meng had applied to adjourn the hearings – originally set to resume April 26 for the final portion of the extradition court proceedings – in order for her legal team to review new documents from Hong Kong court regarding Huawei’s relationship with HSBC.
Huawei and Meng’s alleged misrepresentation to the bank in 2013 about the Chinese tech giant’s relationship with a subsidiary operating in Iran – in contravention to U.S. sanctions – is central to the U.S. Department of Justice’s charge that the Huawei executive committed fraud against HSBC.
Holmes said she will release the reasoning for her decision in writing shortly.
The case will now move to a single hearing, scheduled for April 28, where the Crown and the defence will reset the schedule of future dates of court appearances. The court originally set a aside a number of weeks starting on April 26 to hear the last branch of Meng’s defence argument that U.S. and Canadian authorities violated Meng’s rights when arresting her in December 2018.
Holmes said the bulk of the new court dates will commence around the Aug. 3 restart date suggested by Meng’s defence counsel.
The extradition process has already exceeded two years since Meng’s arrest at Vancouver International Airport on Dec. 1, 2018 – during which Canada’s relationship with China has fallen to new nadirs with Beijing arresting two Canadian citizens (Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig) ostensibly for espionage but allegedly in retaliation of Meng’s detention.
China has also targeted Canadian exports such as canola and red meat in recent years while tensions between the West and Beijing continue to intensify over a number of issues – including supremacy in the global 5G marketplace (of which Huawei has been a major player). Western leaders have been repeatedly warned by intelligence experts that using a Chinese company for 5G technology exposes critical national security infrastructure to possible tampering by Beijing.
Huawei and Beijing have both denied wrongdoing.