US will seek extradition of Huawei CFO from Canada

January 23, 2019 07:32
The arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou has soured relations between Canada and China. Photo: Bloomberg/Reuters

The US Justice Department said it will pursue the extradition of a Huawei Technologies executive who was arrested in Canada in December, Reuters reports.

The United States has accused Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou of misrepresenting the company’s links to a firm that tried to sell equipment to Iran despite US sanctions.

The arrest soured relations between Canada and China, with China subsequently detaining two Canadian citizens and sentencing a third to death. 

“We will continue to pursue the extradition of defendant Ms. Meng Wanzhou, and will meet all deadlines set by the US/Canada Extradition Treaty,” Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi said in a statement on Tuesday. 

“We greatly appreciate Canada’s continuing support of our mutual efforts to enforce the rule of law.” 

Huawei chairman Liang Hua told media at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier on Tuesday that the company was following the issue closely and wanted a quick resolution of the case, but had no direct contact with authorities. 

The United States must file a formal request for extradition by Jan. 30. Once a formal request is received, a Canadian court has 30 days to determine whether there is enough evidence to support extradition and the Canadian minister of justice must issue a formal order. 

Canada has not asked the US to abandon its bid to have Meng extradited, Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.  

Huawei, the world’s biggest producer of telecommunications equipment, faces US-led allegations that its devices present a national security risk. Huawei says such concerns are unfounded.

In an article on Monday, a former head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service spy agency said Canada should ban Huawei from supplying equipment to its 5G networks. China’s ambassador has threatened repercussions if Ottawa blocks Huawei.

“We’ve talked about it with Germany because we have a good relationship with Germany and our European partners generally, and Germany is having some deliberations of its own too,” Freeland said on Tuesday, regarding possibly restricting Huawei’s access to 5G networks.

The German government is debating whether to follow the US and allies like Australia in restricting Huawei from accessing its next-generation mobile networks, business daily Handelsblatt reported last week. 

Huawei will allow foreign officials to visit its labs, Liang said on Tuesday.

“We operate our business globally, and in every country we fully comply with local laws and regulations,” Liang said, adding the company welcomed requests to see the tech giant’s product development business as well as other units.

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