Defence questions Canada policeman who arrested Huawei executive

Ruben Fields
October 31, 2020

Kirkland said that he couldn't recall whether it was an RCMP or border officer who raised the Customs Act on the issue of information sharing, but he agreed that it was raised in anticipation that border officials could discover information worth sharing.

The trial is scheduled to wrap up in April 2021, although the potential for appeals means the case could drag on for years through the Canadian justice system. She is accused by the USA of defrauding HSBC bank by lying about Huawei's business dealings in Iran, putting the bank at risk of violating U.S. sanctions.

When Meng landed in Vancouver on a stopover on December 1, 2018, border officials questioned her for three hours, seized her electronic devices, took down her passwords and searched her luggage before handing her over to police to be charged.

Meng's lawyers have argued that abuses of process occurred in the almost three hours between when CBSA intercepted her and the RCMP arrested her, during which she had no legal representation.

They claimed that USA and Canadian authorities conspired to violate her rights at the time of her arrest by having the CBSA detain and question her without a lawyer and seize her electronic devices.

They say this was to allow border officers to first question Meng and seize her electronic devices at the direction of the United States authorities and in violation of her rights because she was not told she was about to be arrested, nor given the opportunity to have a lawyer present.

It's one of several allegations of wrongdoing that Meng's team is lodging against the RCMP and CBSA, along with accusations they kept intentionally poor notes and failed to arrest her immediately according to the warrant's requirements.

Kirkland said he was embarrassed when he realized the piece of paper with the passcodes was sent to RCMP along with Meng's electronics. Huawei has always had great confidence in Meng Wanzhou's innocence.

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At no point did he believe the CBSA examination was unlawful, however, he said.

"That did not cross my mind", Yep said.

The case record provided by the United States includes slides from a Powerpoint presentation she gave in 2013. "We will continue to support her in unveiling the truth behind the abuse of her rights", Huawei's statement read.

Meng's arrest has strained relations between Canada and China, and the relationship has become increasingly volatile even at the occasion of 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. In Canada, their situation is widely seen as hostage-taking.

Earlier, defense lawyer Richard Peck accused a Canadian policeman of giving "not an honest" reply on whether Meng should be extradited to the US.

The Chinese-born tech executive denies the charges and is fighting extradition from under house arrest at her Vancouver home.

He said the border agency was obligated to conduct its own screening of Meng after she landed because officers had suspicions relating to criminality and national security that could affect Meng's admissibility to Canada. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages.

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