The case of Huawei’s finance chief was addressed by the Supreme Court of British Columbia this morning, and an extradition hearing was set for May 8.
The next hearing will determine whether Meng Wanzhou will be extradited to the United States to face charges of conspiracy, fraud and obstruction. This comes after the Canadian government announced on Friday that it was allowing the extradition process to move forward, despite warnings from China.
Ms. Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei’s founder, was arrested in December 2018 while she was changing planes in Canada on suspicion that she was violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. According to an indictment from the U.S. Department of Justice that was unsealed in January, she is facing charges of bank fraud and wire fraud.
The U.S. government has levelled 23 criminal charges against Huawei and its finance chief. In addition to accusing the Chinese tech giant of bypassing U.S. sanctions on Iran, it is also claiming that Huawei attempted to steal trade secrets.
In a statement, the director of the FBI claimed that companies like Huawei pose a dual threat to U.S. economic and national security, and that the charges should serve as a warning that the U.S. will not tolerate businesses that violate laws, obstruct justice, or jeopardize national and economic well-being.
In addition to fighting extradition to the United States, Huawei’s finance chief has filed a lawsuit against Canada’s government, border agency and police, alleging that they violated her civil rights, at the request of the U.S. She has denied all of the allegations against her. She claims she was interrogated under the guise of a routine customs examination, and she was held for three hours before she was informed that she was under arrest. Her lawsuit claims Canada Border Service Agency agents seized her electronic devices, obtained passwords and unlawfully viewed the contents.
The entire case has served to increase the feud between the U.S. and China, as U.S. officials allege that Huawei is a threat to national security. But the Chinese tech giant is not staying silent.
According to reports, Huawei is planning to sue the U.S. government for refusing to allow federal agencies to use the company’s products.
They claim that the lawsuit would challenge a section of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which blocks executive agencies from using telecom equipment made by Huawei—even though the company has never been on trial, which goes against the U.S. Constitution.
Between now and the upcoming extradition hearing on May 8, Ms. Meng will be forced to remain under 24 hour court-ordered surveillance in a house in Vancouver. And it still remains to be how Huawei and China will react to the latest news in her case as the possibility of a forced extradition to the United States remains on the table.