Huawei CFO says HSBC emails refute basis for US extradition request
By Moira Warburton
VANCOUVER (Reuters) – Lawyers fighting against Huawei’s CFO extradition to the United States presented internal emails from UK bank HSBC on Tuesday that they said refuted US claims that Huawei had misled the bank In error.
CFO Meng Wanzhou’s legal team said emails and documents submitted to a Canadian court showed at least two senior HSBC executives were aware of Huawei’s ties to its Iranian subsidiary, Skycom. HSBC declined to comment.
Meng’s attorneys try to add the documents to the evidence. They are intended to counter U.S. accusations that only the British bank’s junior employees knew the true nature of the relationship between Huawei and Skycom.
U.S. prosecutors alleged that Meng misled HSBC about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran and could have caused the bank to violate U.S. sanctions.
Meng, 49, was arrested in December 2018 at Vancouver International Airport for bank fraud in the United States. She has been held under house arrest for over two years as her case progresses through the Canadian justice system.
Its legal team has extracted internal HSBC documents through a Hong Kong court, and they hope to refer to them during final hearings in the case scheduled for August.
In particular, the defense alleges that two chief executives of HSBC viewed Meng’s presentation to HSBC on Huawei’s activities in Iran. They said this clarifies Skycom’s ownership structure.
Meng and his legal team appeared in the BC Supreme Court on Tuesday on the first day of a two-day hearing where they will plead to add more evidence to support his case.
The evidence shows that the American argument is “so flawed that it forces the courts not to rely on it,” Mark Sandler, defense attorney for Meng, told the court.
Prosecutors representing the Canadian government argued that the evidence and argument went beyond the scope of an extradition hearing.
(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)