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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

‘Abuse’ in extradition case: Meng’s legal team argues for stay in proceedings

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VANCOUVER — Lawyers for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou say the only appropriate remedy for a range of abuses in her extradition case is for proceedings to be stayed.

Defence lawyer Tony Paisana urged the B.C. Supreme Court judge in the case to consider the four alleged abuses of process as “branches of the same tree” and assess their cumulative impact.

The abuses, according to Meng’s legal team, range from the way Meng was questioned and arrested at Vancouver’s airport to comments by then-U.S. president Donald Trump that he would intervene in her case if it benefited U.S. trade negotiations with China.

Meng was arrested in December 2018 at the request of the United States on charges of bank fraud that both she and Huawei deny.

She is accused of lying about Huawei’s control over another company that did business in Iran, putting international bank HSBC at risk of violating U.S. sanctions.

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general have denied any abuse of process occurred and accused Meng’s lawyers of trying to turn her extradition case into a trial.

“Where misconduct is found across nations and agencies laterally and also vertically up and down the hierarchy of those organizations, we say that must aggravate the abuse. The breadth and height of abuse in this case is one of the more rare aspects of this matter,” Paisana says.

“The conduct ranged from that of front line U.S. attorneys drafting court documents and officers tasked with arresting Ms. Meng in conformance with the law, all the way to the president of the United States.”

The court heard arguments last week over the final branch of potential abuses.

It is hearing arguments from both sides regarding remedy before moving on to Meng’s actual extradition hearing, expected to conclude by Aug. 20.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 9, 2021.

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