back to article You're not getting Huawei that easily: Canadian judge rules CFO's extradition proceedings to US can continue

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou has suffered a fresh setback in her fight to avoid extradition to the US after a Canadian judge ruled her case could continue. Wanzhou, eldest daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, is wanted in the US on fraud charges, as well as allegations she broke American sanctions against Iran. Canada's …

  1. WolfFan Silver badge

    China really shouldn’t have

    Virtually admitted that she was guilty by grabbing those two Canadians. That basically put the Canadian government into a box: turn Ms. Terrorist Friend loose and (maybe) get their citizens back, or apply the law and kick her ass into Deepest Trumpville. She looked guilty from the start, China’s heavy-handed tit-for-tat grabbing of two Canadians made her look guiltier and made it look as though the whole thing was, at least, known to the Chinese go beforehand, probably had their blessing, and possibly was at their behest. It’s hard to make the Orange One look good, but the Chinese government is certainly trying.

    1. thames

      Re: China really shouldn’t have

      Riiight. Let's had her over to a regime whose head has openly admitted to wanting to use her as a bargaining chip in trade negotiations.

      Canada just wants the whole problem to go away instead of being used as a pawn in the global dominance game between great powers.

      1. whoseyourdaddy

        Re: China really shouldn’t have

        "Riiight. Let's had her over to a regime whose head has openly admitted to wanting to use her as a bargaining chip in trade negotiations."

        His promise of a trade deal that brings back American jobs got him elected. It would be a mistake to assume he won't do anything to win a second term, and he expects a Nobel Peace Prize for his brilliance...

        She needs to be prosecuted.

        But this won't change: I will walk three miles to the polls in November if I have to, wearing a Chernobyl-grade hazmat suit, to vote all of them out before we are all dead.

        I'm just not moving to Kenfuckey just to vote against Mitch McConnell.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @WolfFan - Re: China really shouldn’t have

      Guilty of what ? Not respecting an US embargo ? The President of USoA said it himself that he wanted to use this as a bargaining advantage in his negotiations with China.Now Canadians are trapped, they have to chose between two mighty enemies, an unenviable position.

      China's heavy handed tit-for-tat is showing they can and they will do play hard ball. Don't tell me those two are that innocent and China will be pleased to show their judicial system is totally independent from the political intervention of the government.

      Moral is simple, if you don't like the game, you stay out of it.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: @WolfFan - China really shouldn’t have

        The original accusation by American authorities was that she made fraudulent claims to American banking officials about not doing something that would be illegal in the U.S. She and her company are allowed to do those things, but American investors are not allowed to invest in them if they do. She supposedly told them that those things were not happening so they could invest while continuing to do them, which would be fraud. The same would be true if she lied about what the company was doing or could do in some other way, for example if she told investors that Huawei had chip-manufacturing capacity they didn't have--Iran is only relevant because of a law impacting the investors which caused them to ask for details.

        Later, the president decided that she could be used as a bargaining chip, which is very very wrong. That needs not to happen, and just saying that makes it very concerning. It may in fact lead to the dismissal of the extradition because her lawyers in Canada can claim the statement means that a fair trial cannot occur; they have already started that particular argument. However, it does not prevent the original charges from still being valid charges if proven. Similarly, there may be valid charges against the two Canadians, but China has proven that they too intend to use these people as bargaining chips, which makes the issue of a fair trial relevant.

        1. son of sam

          Re: @WolfFan - China really shouldn’t have

          China has not charged the two Canadians with anything. They were simply kidnapped and jailed to be used as bargaining chips for Mengs release.

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: @WolfFan - China really shouldn’t have

            I am not saying they have. If they decide they want to increase the pressure, it's well within their abilities to start the charge process, with real information gathered from these people or with completely invented evidence. I have little doubt that they would do so; China has not proven itself capable of justice under its current government. My earlier point was that, even if they had some type of valid charge, the trial wouldn't be valid because they aren't being tried for those crimes, but held for use as political game pieces.

            This can be used in two ways. First, it pretty much invalidates any complaint China may have about Canadian operations, as Canada has adhered to the rule of law while China has thrown it out the window. Second, it can be used as a comparison to allege that statements of a similar nature by the American president mean that a fair trial there will likewise not be forthcoming. In my opinion, I think a trial there would likely be fair, but there may be attempts at interference after it completes. Still, if the American government wanted the trial to be clear of qualms about its integrity, the president shouldn't have made those statements. He did, nobody stopped him, and now they're going to have to lie in that bed they made.

    3. JoeCool

      This post makes the same mistake that the Chinese are making

      The "Government" has no ability to turn her loose. In Canada the judicial system has independence from the government, and operates on legislated codes of law not in response to state kidnappings.

      1. Stork Silver badge

        Re: This post makes the same mistake that the Chinese are making

        In _some_ places a minister can then decide against extradition if it is considered against the country's interests. Wasn't that what got Pinochet off the hook in the UK when Spain wanted him?

        1. JoeCool

          Re: This post makes the same mistake that the Chinese are making

          In _some_ places the political parties can subvert or politicize the process of appointing federal judges, or have them run an election campaign at the state level.

  2. DanceMan

    Justice

    "Ms Meng's lawyers will continue to work tirelessly to see justice is served."

    Justice has a different meaning in China.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Justice

      It was the sentence before that which caught my atttention:

      "We expect that Canada's judicial system will ultimately prove Ms Meng's innocence."

      I think she'll actually be tried in the US if things get that far, so Canada's judicial system won't play any role in determining her guilt or innocence. The Chinese really ought to understand that.

      1. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: Justice

        > think she'll actually be tried in the US if things get that far, so Canada's judicial system won't play any role in determining her guilt or innocence.

        That's a very naive view of the Federal justice system in the US. It thouroughly politicized these days. There is some pushback by people who still believe in doing the right thing but its only a matter of time before they get taken down. (.....and then there's the small matter of Julian Assange.....) The best that Ms Meng can hope for is a show trial, a pretence of justice and impartially that further exposes just how rotten the system is. (The problem with being a martyr is that it might prove a point but you're still dead.)

        The real issue here is how far does American extraterritorialism reach? We have a very flexible legal system in the US where your ciminal liability is largely dependent on how well you're connected and how much money you can rake up. So Paul Manafort is out of prison -- don't want him to catch Covid-19 -- and Flynn's charges were dropped against him by the Justice Department after he had plead guilty to charges (the same Justice Department that's gone into overdrive investigating people from the previous Administration). Its really not a good idea to encourage this sort of thing.

        1. First Light

          Re: Justice

          Yes, the DOJ has been corrupted, but claiming she will get a "show trial" goes way too far. The judges and juries still have a say. The non-Trump judges are still good, but as time goes on the judiciary itself will weaken because of the low caliber of his appointees.

      2. onemark03

        "We expect that Canada's judicial system will ultimately prove Ms Meng's innocence."

        The Chinese said that because it knows that Canada is anxious to get its two prisoners back from Chinese jails and in an effort to prevent Canada from sending Ms Meng to the US. The two Canadian prisoners are nothing more than hostages.

        1. Yes Me Silver badge

          Re: "We expect that Canada's judicial system will ultimately prove Ms Meng's innocence."

          "The two Canadian prisoners are nothing more than hostages."

          The first hostage taken was Ms Meng.

          1. llaryllama

            Re: "We expect that Canada's judicial system will ultimately prove Ms Meng's innocence."

            Meng was arrested and placed under house arrest due to suspicion of defrauding the banking system. She has relative freedom while on bail. All details of the case are transparent and publicly available. The Canadian judiciary is mostly independent from government.

            Kovrig and Spavor have been locked in an unknown detention center with no details of their crimes provided except that they are held for "espionage". The Chinese court system is completely controlled from the top down by the CCP.

            Let's leave whataboutism and "you did X first" in the Soviet era where it belongs.

            1. _LC_ Silver badge

              Re: "We expect that Canada's judicial system will ultimately prove Ms Meng's innocence."

              The 'whataboutism' that gives away the paid writing bot.

            2. son of sam

              Re: "We expect that Canada's judicial system will ultimately prove Ms Meng's innocence."

              Meng's house arrest is in here multi million dollars mansion while living in luxury. The two Canadians are rotting is a stinging hell hole with the lights on 24 hour a day.

              1. _LC_ Silver badge

                Re: "We expect that Canada's judicial system will ultimately prove Ms Meng's innocence."

                Sounds like Assange. Did the Canadians reveal anything the US didn't like?

    2. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: Justice

      "Justice has a different meaning in China."

      True, but she's in Canada, which is kowtowing to the US, which is using unfair trade war weaponry against Huawei. I don't know who takes the final decision on extraditions in China, but I certainly hope they don't kowtow.

  3. joeydiggs

    Drumpf's Gulags any better than Chinas?

    So who said she'll get a better trial in Trump's USA than at home in Chinas?

    1. First Light

      Re: Drumpf's Gulags any better than Chinas?

      That's a false equivalecy.

      99.9% of Chinese criminal prosecutions end in conviction.

      That's not a typo or a metaphor, it's fact.

  4. llaryllama

    Some background

    I know it's tempting to assume the case is purely political and Meng is being used as a bargaining chip with China, but she was not arrested for breaking sanctions. She was arrested for banking fraud by declaring that payments were received for Entity A while they were actually being shuffled to Entity B.

    If anything Meng's status as a political pawn - perceived or otherwise - has helped avoid extradition to this point, because nobody wants to be seen as throwing the hot potato back into the pot.

    China and its CCP-connected citizens get away with a lot of dodgy stuff on the international stage and expect everyone else to play by liberal democratic rules while they can bend the rules any way they like without repercussions. Whatever the political ramifications I don't have a great deal of sympathy for Meng when she is alleged to have committed a fairly serious white collar crime and is under house arrest in a transparent legal regime. Try playing the banking system in China and see where that gets you.

    Full disclosure: I'm Taiwanese so I'm kinda biased against China but for good reasons.

  5. Maelstorm
    Terminator

    Here's the thing...

    I read somewhere recently that Meng is considered to be Chinese Communist Party (CCP) "Royalty." With that in mind, it makes sense that China is willing to go to bat for her. Lying to a bank to get transactions processed to a foreign country to bypass sanctions is a really big no-no. So, if convicted (more on this in a moment), she may face 10+ years at a nice federal resort with all expenses paid. She will get medical/psychiatric care, fed three times a day, read books, watch TV, and get free designer clothes all in orange. The only problem is that she will be spending 23 hours a day in a 5x7 foot cell.

    As for getting a conviction by a jury of her peers, remember that she's "royalty." The CCP may send spies and other covert agents to either break her out of jail and whisk her out of the country, or kidnap/bribe/extort or otherwise leverage one or more jurors on her trial to get a favorable outcome. They have to come back with not guilty for her to be acquitted. If it's a mistrial, they can try her again, and again, and again. It depends on how much of her ass the U.S. prosecutors want. Even one trial will take a pretty good bite out of it.

    1. Doctor Evil

      Re: Here's the thing...

      "The CCP may send spies and other covert agents to [...] break her out of jail and whisk her out of the country"

      Actually I'm more than a bit surprised that this hasn't happened yet. I fully expect(ed) it to, given the lenient conditions of Ms. Meng's "detention".

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Here's the thing...

      >The CCP may send spies and other covert agents to either break her out of jail and whisk her out of the country, or kidnap/bribe/extort or otherwise leverage one or more jurors on her trial to get a favorable outcome.

      Nice fantasy, however, reality says such action would be much easier whilst she is in Canada than once she is in the USA. The fact she is still in Canada says much...

  6. son of sam

    All the while as this farce rolls along, China is still pressuring and threatening Canada to purchase Huawei 5G gear. Even if Canada were to release Meng and send her back to China, Kovrig and Spavor may not be release unless Canada were committed to purchase Huawei 5G gear build with spyware build into its low level firmware operating system. We in the west are complete fools if we purchase anything from Huawei.

  7. crayon

    After Meng was held hostage and China asked for her to be released, Trudeau said Canada had an independent judiciary and it would be up to the courts to decide. Not long after it was shown that Trudeau himself had tried to pervert the course of justice:

    https://edition.cnn.com/2019/03/06/americas/canada-politics-explainer/index.html

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nice attempt at demonstrating hypocrisy in Canadian politics, however your example is:

      Different scale of importance (vs treaties), different venue (international versus domestic), Quebec politics (politics of unity), and a mountain from a molehill. Admitted to and consequences served up with the perp becoming a minority government.

      Really the description 'that was in a different country and besides the wench is dead' seems as appropriate here as it did 400 years ago.

  8. Happytodiscuss

    Huawei, our blessing and our curse

    Extradition treaties like the one applied to Meng are rooted in law and embodied in the agreement. The fraud is penny ante. Which multi-national hasn't used reseller agreements to form a path to doing business in a forbidden market.

    That said, China has suspended meaningful trade with Canada as the result of the Meng controversy while concurrently partnering with the National Research Council on a Covid vaccine manufacturing-delivery system. Huawei has used the NRC and SR&ED programs to perform research using Canadian universities and BB-Nortel developed expertise knowing that Canada does not have a precondition for the preservation of IP in Canada based in law, all while applying their wolf-warrior diplomacy against Canada.

    Trumps politicizing of the Meng incident was the act of a non-politician however ignorant. Canada is reaching its point of 'no'. No to all mutuality that doesn't benefit all parties. Canada has already paid the price with China for Meng, so expect a compromise that says that Huawei can sell 4G but not 5G soon I hope. Every country in the world has this equipment somewhere in their infrastructure already, including the US.

    The Meng ruling came out of an appeal to the BC Supreme Court, so there are still appeals remaining. Let's hope the Michaels are home before the PRC moves on Taiwan.

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