Canada arrests Huawei’s global chief financial officer in Vancouver

Meng's lawyers have filed more court documents containing more grounds for dismissing the extradition.
Meng Wanzhou's lawyers claim extradition would violate international law

A short summary would be that they are arguing the US has no jurisdiction over what a Chinese national did with a UK bank outside the US. They cite a Canadian legal precedent based on international law in support of this.
Backed by a series of opinions from international legal experts, Meng's lawyers claim the U.S. has no jurisdiction to subject a Chinese national to rules rejected by other countries for actions that took place outside the United States with a non-U.S. executive of an English bank.

"There is no connection," the defence states in its submissions.

"None of (Meng's) alleged conduct occurred in whole or in part in the U.S. or had any effect there."

The documents have been filed with the court, but there has been no hearing on this development yet.
 
The Meng Wanzhou extradition hearings will be starting up again soon. The following article is mainly a summary of events to date along with some speculation on how the case will unfold in the near future.
Trump's alleged interference to take centre stage as Meng Wanzhou's extradition hearings begin

Among the reasons that will be used to argue that the case against Meng should be tossed out are claims that:
  • It was politically motivated, with Trump's statements about using Meng as a bargaining chip in trade negotiations being used as evidence.
  • There was abuse of process by Canadian police and immigration officials who ignore the terms of the arrest warrant they operated on and used the immigration entry process to conduct an interrogation illegally.
  • The US mislead Canada as to the strength of their case.
  • The US do not have jurisdiction over a Chinese citizen's dealings with a UK bank in China.
  • The RCMP sent private information from Meng's electronic devices to the US FBI without authorisation.
  • A senior RCMP officer who was in touch with the US liason has refused to testify.

There is also speculation that the US may look for ways to drop the case for their own reasons.
 
Here's this weeks developments on the Meng Wanzhou extradition hearings.
Meng Wanzhou's lawyer claims Trump reduced Huawei exec from human being to 'chattel'

One line of argument her lawyer pursued was that US president Trump was using the extradition proceedings as a bargaining chip in pursuing a trade deal with China.
A lawyer for Meng Wanzhou accused former U.S. president Donald Trump Wednesday of leaving a "stain" on the Canadian justice system by threatening to intervene in extradition proceedings against the Huawei executive in pursuit of a trade deal.
(...)
On Dec. 11, 2018 — 10 days after Meng's arrest at Vancouver's airport — Trump told a Reuters reporter he would "certainly intervene" in the case if he thought it necessary to reach a trade deal with China.

China and the U.S. were in the middle of an escalating tariff battle.

Peck called the comments "abhorrent."

"These words cast a pall over these proceedings. They reduce Ms. Meng from a human being to a chattel. The notion that a person's liberty can be used in any way to advance a commercial transaction is anathema to our justice system, to this process, to the rule of law," Peck said.

"It's a notion that strikes at the heart of human dignity."

He also called it an abuse of process as part of a US effort to damage or destroy Huawei.
The defence wants the judge overseeing the B.C. Supreme Court extradition proceedings to toss the case over what Meng's lawyers claim is an abuse of process.

In making his case, Peck said it was important to understand the context of the U.S. government's focus on China and on Huawei in particular.

He claimed Meng's situation was rooted in "a concerted and continuing effort on the part of the U.S. government to debilitate, if not destroy, Huawei."
He said that the US see Huawei's technology lead in 5G over US companies as a threat to US dominance.
Peck said the U.S. has not been able to offer real evidence of a link between Huawei and the Chinese government, but clearly sees the telecommunications giant as a threat to the power the U.S. used to hold as a global innovator in technology.

He said Huawei, and by extension China, has "stolen a march" on the United States when it comes to the race to equip the world with the next generation of wireless technology, known as 5G.

"This specific technology race has been referred to as the 21st century version of the arms race of the Cold War years," Peck told the judge.

"This is not hyperbole on my part. The U.S. sees China and advanced Chinese technological companies — in particular, this company Huawei — as presenting an existential threat."

Peck said Meng's arrest and the ensuing publicity made her the face of the company, which was founded by her billionaire father. And he said Trump's involvement was unique.

"In the annals of extradition law, it appears to be the first time the head of a requesting state has commented directly on the plight of a person sought," Peck said.

The lawyer also stated that PM Trudeau's efforts to have the US ensure that in any trade deal they struck with China that the two Canadians, Kovrig and Spavor, showed that political and diplomatic considerations were at play in this entire affair.
Peck cited a statement Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made in December 2020, in which he claimed to have asked the U.S. to ensure that any trade deal it reaches with China address the situations of Meng and two Canadians detained in China, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. (...)

Peck said Trudeau's comments gave weight to the power of Trump's threatened involvement and the notion that Meng can be used as a bargaining chip.

He further said that the current US government have not repudiated Trump's statements, and that a senior governing party member, Nancy Pelosi, has if anything lent weight to them in her recent statements about China.
Peck said the current White House administration has not repudiated Trump's comments. If anything, he said, senior Democrats agree that China represents a threat, citing statements from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The crown's response basically amounted to "you can't prove it", and that political considerations don't come into play in the Canadian justice system because of "rule of law" and all that.

Considering that the current government in Ottawa are a minority due to a scandal where the PM and hist officials allegedly tried to get a prosecution dropped against senior business executives (Libya bribery scandal) because of strategic economic considerations, I'm not sure how the crown managed to make their claims with a straight face. Perhaps he had a pandemic mask on to help him in that regards.

The above story dates from Wednesday. There were supposed to be addition hearings on Thursday and Friday, but I haven't seen any stories on those ones yet.
 
Here's this weeks developments on the Meng Wanzhou extradition hearings.
Meng Wanzhou's lawyer claims Trump reduced Huawei exec from human being to 'chattel'

One line of argument her lawyer pursued was that US president Trump was using the extradition proceedings as a bargaining chip in pursuing a trade deal with China.


He also called it an abuse of process as part of a US effort to damage or destroy Huawei.

He said that the US see Huawei's technology lead in 5G over US companies as a threat to US dominance.


The lawyer also stated that PM Trudeau's efforts to have the US ensure that in any trade deal they struck with China that the two Canadians, Kovrig and Spavor, showed that political and diplomatic considerations were at play in this entire affair.


He further said that the current US government have not repudiated Trump's statements, and that a senior governing party member, Nancy Pelosi, has if anything lent weight to them in her recent statements about China.


The crown's response basically amounted to "you can't prove it", and that political considerations don't come into play in the Canadian justice system because of "rule of law" and all that.

Considering that the current government in Ottawa are a minority due to a scandal where the PM and hist officials allegedly tried to get a prosecution dropped against senior business executives (Libya bribery scandal) because of strategic economic considerations, I'm not sure how the crown managed to make their claims with a straight face. Perhaps he had a pandemic mask on to help him in that regards.

The above story dates from Wednesday. There were supposed to be addition hearings on Thursday and Friday, but I haven't seen any stories on those ones yet.
Well a lot of it is chancing their arms, still it will keep a lot of polished bottoms very busy trying to determine how many saints dance on the head of a pin. The point I was getting at is that there is if memory serves the principle that where offences are found in one country and the offence would ordinarily have been prosecuted in that country the offender can be prosecuted. It really depends on the terms of the licence by which the UK bank operates in the US. i.e can the US claim jurisdiction over the relevant organisation operations not on US soil.
The other point is that though Trump was loathed by the establishment, he wasn't always wrong, a neat counter point to Obama who was and was universally loved :rolleyes: .
There's a counter for that with Russia and China which is They don't give a shit. we can waste a lot of money and achieve nothing.
 
There has been more action in the Meng Wanzhou extradition hearings in Canada. I have batched up several days stories to deal with it all at once.
Meng Wanzhou lawyer claims RCMP, CBSA officers showed 'flagrant disregard' for rights
Meng Wanzhou lawyers attack 'unprecedented' refusal of key RCMP witness to testify

Meng's lawyers said that Canadian authorities have been preoccupied with appeasing US demands and placing them higher than Meng's legal rights under Canadian law. The authorities have tried to explain away each instance of this as being a special circumstance rather than a pattern of behaviour.
"What we say animated much of this misconduct was an overarching preoccupation on the part of Canadian authorities to appease and otherwise comply with demands received from the FBI," Paisana told Associate Chief

Justice Heather Holmes.
"At nearly every turn, the authorities prioritized U.S. requests over Ms. Meng's rights and their own obligations to the court. And then when confronted with these issues they tried to explain away these issues as a mistake or as a product of their unique circumstances."

Meng's lawyer said this was the result of the RCMP and CBSA conducting a covert investigation on behalf of the US FBI. He also said the RCMP provide misleading information to a BC Supreme Court judge in order to obtain an arrest warrant and then ignored the warrants instructions to arrest Meng "immediately" in order to have the CBSA question her for three hours.
Paisana presented Holmes with an overview of what the defence claims was a conspiracy between the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, the RCMP and the CBSA to mount a covert investigation at the time of Meng's arrival in Canada on Dec. 1, 2018.

He claimed RCMP officers provided misleading information to a B.C. Supreme Court judge in order get a provisional arrest warrant and then allowed border agents to question Meng without a lawyer for three hours despite the judge's instructions for her "immediate" arrest.

CBSA then seized Meng's phones without proper authority, gave the passwords to the RCMP, who then illegally passed the information on to the US FBI. The former RCMP sergeant who played a central roll in all this has refused to testify in court, something that the defence lawyer said was "an unprecedented act, even for a retired officer."
The defence also claims the CBSA seized Meng's phones without proper authority and gave the passcodes to the RCMP. They accuse the RCMP of forwarding technical information from Meng's electronic devices to the FBI in contravention of the Extradition Act.

The former RCMP staff sergeant who the defence has accused of sending serial numbers and other technical details to his FBI counterpart is refusing to testify — a decision Paisana said was "an unprecedented act, even for a retired officer."

The defence lawyer then said the CBSA and RCMP witnesses were "less than truthful", and that their explanations for their behaviour "bordering on the absurd."
But Paisana said the CBSA and RCMP witnesses who did take the stand during two weeks of testimony last fall provided "less than truthful" explanations for their behaviour, sometimes "bordering on the absurd."

"The officers at the heart of this case at times demonstrated a lack of regard for the charter, this court's role in overseeing their conduct, and frankly, the truth," said Paisana.

The story doesn't give any details about the latter points, but this may be referring to where the CBSA (customs and immigration) said they questioned Meng for three hours because they happened to have read something about her in Wikipedia just before she arrived. Also, another RCMP sergeant's testimony contradicted her own contemporaneous notes when it turned out that those notes supported the defence's claims about the other sergeant who is refusing to testify.

The crown's response to all this basically amounts to "no we didn't and you can't prove it".


The defence case at this stage rests on four "branches of abuse" by the authorities. As well as the above, they have already argued that Meng is being used as a pawn in a trade war between the US and China (see Trump's statements in that regards). Soon, they will argue that the US doesn't have jurisdiction over what happens in Hong Kong between a Chinese individual and a British bank. Then they will argue that the US mislead Canada about the strength of their case. All of this will take place over the coming month.
Last month, they argued Meng is being used as a pawn by the U.S. in a trade war with China.

Later in this three-week block of hearings, they will argue the U.S. lacks jurisdiction to try a Chinese citizen for actions taking place in Hong Kong and involving a British bank.

Finally, the defence will argue that the U.S. deliberately misled Canada about the strength of the case. Those arguments will take place along with submissions on the extradition request itself during a three-week period starting in late April.
 
Peripherally related to the Meng extradition hearings are the Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor cases in China. The two Canadians were arrested in China after Meng's arrest in Canada.

Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor set to go on trial in China
Canada says it's being locked out of detained Canadians' trials in China
Michael Spavor's trial in China ends without a ruling
China's 'coercive diplomacy' threatens its relationships with the West, says Trudeau

There are four different articles from the CBC on this, but they contain very little actual information.

None of the news articles give any details of the charges against Spavor or Kovrig, such as the precise law they are charged under. Instead we just get "national security" sort of explanations. It's not clear whether the Chinese authorities haven't actually specified which law is involved, or whether the press reports just don't feel like telling us.

Spavor had a hearing in Dandong on Friday, and Spavor will have a hearing in Beijing on Monday. Canadian diplomats and the press were excluded from Friday's hearing.

However we do now get the information that the Kovrig and Spavor cases are linked, with Kovrig being accused of spying and Spavor being accused of being a source for Kovring.
The state-owned Global Times newspaper said Kovrig was accused of having used an ordinary passport and business visa to enter China to steal sensitive information and intelligence through contacts in China since 2017, while Spavor was accused of being a key source of intelligence for Kovrig.

One of the above stories has an interview with former Canadian ambassador to China Guy Saint-Jacques. Saint-Jacque said that the trials are almost certainly intended to send a message to the Americans. Senior American officials are holding a meeting with their Chinese counterparts in Alaska. Saint-Jacque also said that Canada is basically in the hands of the Americans at this point, as they are the only ones who can break the deadlock.
Saint-Jacques said the timing of the trials — just as American and Chinese officials gather in Alaska for a summit — is likely not a coincidence.

"We are in the hands of the Americans," he said.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan are expected to meet China's top two diplomats, State Councillor Wang Yi and Chinese Communist Party foreign affairs chief Yang Jiechi, in Anchorage later Thursday.

Kovrig is a former Canadian diplomat who went to work for International Crisis Group. ICG list a raft of Western governments as being their financial backers, and have been headed by people with close connections with the highest levels of the US and UK governments (e.g. former national security advisors, cabinet ministers, etc.). It's not hard to see why Kovrig would have been under the microscope while he was in China.

Spavor is a businessman who does various things in North Korea, and apparently has close personal ties with Kim Jong-un. There isn't a lot of information about him aside from things like he was the guy who arranged American sports personality Dennis Rodman's visit to North Korea.


Here is a statement that ICG made about Kovrig in late 2019. ICG portray the Meng/Korvig-Spavor affair as being the product of an escalating trade dispute between China and the US. As the relative power of the US diminishes, China are playing an increasing role in world affairs, which is causing the US and other countries to become increasingly unhappy. ICG see Kovrig as being a casualty in this global power struggle.

Why China must send Michael Kovrig home
Washington accuses Huawei of evading U.S. sanctions on Iran and otherwise threatening U.S. national security. It claims Meng fraudulently lied to bank executives to help Huawei. Beijing retorts that the U.S. extradition request is politically motivated and Washington is harassing a business competitor for commercial reasons. This incident is but one in an escalating trade dispute between China and the United States. Tensions have boiled to the top. Michael is their casualty.

Michael’s unjust detention comes at a particularly sensitive time in terms of China’s role in the world. As its relative power rises and that of the United States diminishes, Beijing is playing an increasingly important and visible role on the world stage. That, in turn, is creating anxieties, both in Asia and the West. In response, many have been advocating a far more aggressive approach toward China.
 
Here is further news in the Meng Wanzhou extradition case has
Judge questions refusal by key RCMP witness to testify at Meng Wanzhou extradition case

The judge is apparently raising her eyebrows over a former senior RCMP officer who is a key witness refusing to testify in the case. She seems to see this as being highly unusual and is taking "judicial notice" of it.
Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes said Thursday she's been given no explanation for former Staff Sgt. Ben Chang's unprecedented decision to avoid questions from the Huawei executive's lawyers about allegations he unlawfully shared information with U.S. authorities. (...)

"The known facts include that he was a senior police officer. I will take judicial notice of this," Holmes said.

"Generally retired police officers testify in cases they were involved with before their retirement, and that's not happening here."

The defence may have scored a point in this one.

There was also discussion of the RCMP sending serial numbers of Meng's kit to the US, and whether an illegal search of Meng's electronic devices had taken place. I've gone over these points before so I won't bother repeating them here.

However, there has been a recent ruling in an unrelated case in the Alberta Court of Appeal which would suggest that searches of this nature are unconstitutional.

The judge in the Meng case asked the crown if he could think of any reason why that would not equally apply in this case. The crown replied that he couldn't answer that question.
"Is there anything about the reasoning that would not apply equally to the immigration regime?" Holmes asked Crown lawyer Diba Majzub.

Majzub said he could not assist the judge further.

This is possibly another point scored for the defence, although this one is less clear.
 
Here are further developments in the Meng Wanzhou extradition case.
Crown says lone breach of Meng Wanzhou's rights would not be enough to toss extradition

The crown admitted that the court may find that Meng's rights were violated when CBSA (immigration) gave her passwords to the RCMP. However, the crown said that the case should not be tossed in as a result of this.
The lead counsel for Canada's Attorney General conceded Friday that the judge overseeing Meng Wanzhou's extradition proceedings may find a Canada Border Services Agency officer breached the Huawei executive's rights by giving the RCMP the passcodes to her phones.

But Robert Frater told B.C. Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes even if she does find a violation of Meng's right to protection against unreasonable search and seizure under Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it wouldn't be enough to toss the case.

"Ordinarily, if you've got a Section 8 breach the remedy is exclusion of evidence," Frater told Holmes.

"And you will search wide and far to find a case in which a Section 8 breach, by itself, led to a stay of proceedings."


This apparently is because the crown are not admitting to engaging in a conspiracy, or attempting to cover up wrong doing, or of any delay in Meng's "immediate" arrest. The crown said that CBSA givine the passwords to the RCMP was a mistake, and the crown shouldn't be penalised for that.
Frater told Holmes the defence has failed to prove the existence of a conspiracy, attempts to cover up wrongdoing or any meaningful delay in Meng's arrest.

"That leaves ... the question of search," he told the judge.

"And one thing you have in this case is that there was an admitted erroneous passing of the passcodes to the RCMP."


The reporter seems to feel that the judge's questions suggest she is leaning towards ruling that Meng's rights were breached, even if it is not proved that the RCMP did so at the behest of the US FBI.
The judge repeatedly questioned Crown lawyers during their submissions, suggesting that she was open to finding that the CBSA and the RCMP may have breached Meng's rights, even if they didn't do it at the behest of the FBI.


On Monday the defence will respond to the crown's statements, adn then move on to the issue of whether the US are engaging in jurisdictional overreach in charging a Chinese citizen for an alleged offense against a British bank in China.
The defence will give a final reply to the Crown's arguments on Monday morning and then begin a new line of arguments related to what they claim is jurisdictional overreach by the U.S. in bringing charges against a Chinese citizen for an alleged offence against a British bank.
 
Here are further developments in the Meng Wanzhou extradition case.
Crown says lone breach of Meng Wanzhou's rights would not be enough to toss extradition

The crown admitted that the court may find that Meng's rights were violated when CBSA (immigration) gave her passwords to the RCMP. However, the crown said that the case should not be tossed in as a result of this.



This apparently is because the crown are not admitting to engaging in a conspiracy, or attempting to cover up wrong doing, or of any delay in Meng's "immediate" arrest. The crown said that CBSA givine the passwords to the RCMP was a mistake, and the crown shouldn't be penalised for that.



The reporter seems to feel that the judge's questions suggest she is leaning towards ruling that Meng's rights were breached, even if it is not proved that the RCMP did so at the behest of the US FBI.



On Monday the defence will respond to the crown's statements, adn then move on to the issue of whether the US are engaging in jurisdictional overreach in charging a Chinese citizen for an alleged offense against a British bank in China.
Interesting, there's the Canadian convention of reduced rights for travellers which goes back a few years, which is what I suspect they're getting at. If it's anything like the UK in an extradition issue like that it was primarily a police matter and the and UKIS would have co-operated with police- who were all of course under the HO control. There is a distinction.
My bold the out come of that will be most interesting.
 
Interesting, there's the Canadian convention of reduced rights for travellers which goes back a few years, which is what I suspect they're getting at. If it's anything like the UK in an extradition issue like that it was primarily a police matter and the and UKIS would have co-operated with police- who were all of course under the HO control. There is a distinction.
My bold the out come of that will be most interesting.
I get the impression that the defence will get the most mileage out of the abuse of process issue as opposed to anything else. See also the previous post about the judge being noticeably disturbed over a key RCMP senior sergeant refusing to testify in the case and hiring his own lawyer to avoid being forced to testify. He was the one most directly involved in the alleged abuse of process and his version of events was directly contradicted by another sergeant's contemporaneous notes, although the latter changed her testimony after it was realised that it contradicted his.

The crown has more or less admitted that Meng's rights may have been violated and there is the appearance of several senior RCMP officials having lied to the court about what happened in an effort to cover it up.

One possible outcome could be for the court to stay proceedings (throw out the extradition request) on very narrowly defined abuse of process grounds that avoids setting too much of a precedent for future unrelated cases. I'm not going to make any predictions on how this case will actually come out, but given the big song and dance Ottawa has made about Canadian courts being independent and fair, the judge will know that there will be a microscope focused on the court to see if they do the sort of things that everyone accuses the Chinese courts and police of doing.
 
See also the previous post about the judge being noticeably disturbed over a key RCMP senior sergeant refusing to testify in the case and hiring his own lawyer to avoid being forced to testify.
Yes I agree, that is most unusual. From memory I can’t think of a single incidence of that from my own experience. Unless it’s critical to national security that he doesn’t. But then the Crown itself would be moving heaven and earth in the matter.
 
Yes I agree, that is most unusual. From memory I can’t think of a single incidence of that from my own experience. Unless it’s critical to national security that he doesn’t. But then the Crown itself would be moving heaven and earth in the matter.
Another retired RCMP officer was interviewed by the CBC and said that they would routinely do favours for their US counterparts in what he described as "political" cases. I made a post on this in this thread previously.

The RCMP are used to bending the rules and getting away with it. They have an extensive history of scandal in this regards. The US police do the same extensively.

Quite possibly what happened here is that they and their US counterparts thought they could get away with some creative rule bending in order to get information from Meng that they couldn't get any other way. They may have however found that they had bit off more than they could chew in that she had more resources to hire lawyers than the typical peon they play these games with. In addition the judge actually has to pay attention to what is going on instead of just rubber stamping what the prosecutor puts in front of her because there is so much press scrutiny.

It is possible that the sergeant in question in all this is afraid of being charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice, hence he doesn't want to testify and dig himself in any deeper. Overall though, the RCMP and CBSA are not coming out of this looking very good.

What could go against Meng in this is that in Canada the typical remedy for abuse by the police is just to exclude the evidence that was obtained by such means rather than tossing out the entire case. Since the crown doesn't actually need any evidence other than that they have an extradition request, tossing out evidence obtained in the interrogation may not make any difference. What Meng's lawyers will have to show is that the abuse was extensive enough to justify the unusual step of staying proceedings altogether. The crown seemed to be making this point by conceding the possibility that there may have been abuse of process but then saying there wasn't proof that it was done as a result of a conspiracy with the US.

There were numerous press reports that the US were trying for a negotiated settlement last autumn because they were apparently having doubts about how things were going from their perspective and were looking to save face. That is another possible outcome to all this.
 
that they would routinely do favours for their US counterparts in what he described as "political" cases. I made a post on this in this thread previously.
Yers, well that’s an open secret. AIUI there are two kinds of extradition systems. The first would be like this where a court has to examine if there is actually a case to answer, the second rather more a fait accompli which we have under the EU arrest warrant system. But there again we have the interference from the intelligence community and that’s where the snag lies, in the divulging to courts what we know that rather blows the gaff. So it sounds more like the crown made a bit of a ricket in respect of that.
 
Here are more developments in the Meng Wanzhou affair.
Crown accuses Meng Wanzhou's lawyers of denying facts in bid to toss extradition

In this hearing the two sides presented arguments over whether the US has jurisdiction over what happens in Hong Kong. These arguments have been gone over at least once if not several times on this thread already, so I won't repeat them here.

Previous news stories have suggested that this part of the case is not significant as the judge is unlikely to take much interest in whether there is jurisdiction. Rather it is likely the judge will simply agree that "fraud" is a crime and leave it up to the US courts over whether Meng's actions constituted a form of fraud over which the US had jurisdiction. The US framed their extradition request in this way precisely to get around questions of jurisdiction. None the less Meng's lawyers will argue the point because they have nothing to lose by trying.

The next set of hearings will apparently be about whether the US has sufficient evidence to justify an extradition. The judge won't take any interest in whether the evidence is correct or not, just whether there is enough to justify a trial based on that evidence.
 
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