By Tessa Vikander and Moira Warburton
VANCOUVER/TORONTO (Reuters) – Huawei Technologies Co’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was dealt a setback by a Canadian court on Wednesday as she tries to avoid extradition to the United States to face bank fraud charges, dashing hopes for an end to her 18-month house arrest in Vancouver.
The ruling, which could further deteriorate relations between Ottawa and Beijing, elicited immediate strong reaction from China’s embassy in Canada, which said Canada is “accomplice to United States efforts to bring down Huawei and Chinese high-tech companies.”
Meng, a Chinese citizen and daughter of Huawei’s billionaire founder Ren Zheng, was arrested in December 2018 on a warrant issued by U.S. authorities. They accuse her of bank fraud for misleading HSBC about Huawei’s relationship with a company operating in Iran, putting HSBC at risk of fines and penalties for breaking U.S. sanctions on Tehran.
Meng’s lawyers argued the case should be thrown out because Canada did not have sanctions against Iran.
But British Columbia’s Superior Court Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes disagreed, ruling the legal standard of double criminality had been met.