Huawei CFO calls for release with Beijing backing

The financial director of the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, arrested in Canada at the request of the United States, appears again Monday before a court in Vancouver where she requests her release, with the support of Beijing which is increasing the pressure on Ottawa and Washington.

Huawei CFO calls for release with Beijing backing

The financial director of the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, arrested in Canada at the request of the United States, appears again Monday before a court in Vancouver where she requests her release, with the support of Beijing which is increasing the pressure on Ottawa and Washington.

Meng Wanzhou, whose US justice is seeking extradition for alleged fraud, has already pleaded his case at a first hearing in Vancouver Supreme Court last Friday. The hearing is scheduled to resume Monday at 10:00 a.m. local time (5:00 p.m. GMT). In an affidavit sent to court on Sunday, the 46-year-old leader explains that she suffers from health problems, including high blood pressure. She also indicates that she survived thyroid cancer in 2011 and that she has trouble swallowing solid foods.

His health in danger

She is being treated in a Canadian hospital and believes that continued detention during the lengthy extradition procedure would endanger her health. “I still do not feel well and I am afraid that my health will deteriorate during my incarceration”, pleads the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, founder of Huawei in 1987. “It seems that the Canadian detention center does not offer him the appropriate health care, ”Chinese newspaper Global Times said on Sunday. “We believe that this is inhuman and violates his rights as a person,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a press conference.

He also claims that Canada did not immediately inform Chinese consular authorities of the arrest of the leader, in violation of a bilateral treaty. The businesswoman denies the accusations brought against her by the United States, where she is accused of “conspiracy of fraud to the detriment of several financial institutions”. She would have hidden from them the links between Huawei and one of its subsidiaries which was seeking to sell equipment to Iran despite American sanctions. These charges are punishable by up to 30 years in prison each in the United States.

The Sino-American truce threatened

“I wish to stay in Vancouver to challenge my extradition and I will challenge these allegations at a trial in the United States if I am ultimately extradited,” Meng warns in her statement. Friday during the hearing, the representative of the Canadian prosecutor had opposed the release on bail of Ms. Meng, believing that she risked fleeing to China to escape a possible extradition to the United States.

At the hearing Monday, his lawyers should again try to reassure Canadian justice of the good faith of their client. The latter owns two houses in Vancouver with her husband and says she is ready to bring their daughter to this city during the procedure, which can take months or even years.

Ms. Meng’s arrest angered China, which is demanding her immediate release. Beijing summoned Canadian and US ambassadors this weekend to protest – a diplomatic crisis that threatens the recent truce in the Sino-US trade war. It also threatens relations between China and Canada, which has been hoping for months to revive negotiations with Beijing for a bilateral trade treaty.

The British Columbia government announced on Sunday that it was suspending a long-planned trade mission to China, due to the ongoing crisis. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has meanwhile been very measured in the face of China’s accusations. He said last week that the decision to arrest the Chinese leader had been taken by the Canadian justice at the request of the American justice, in complete independence and without political intervention.

Washington, for its part, on Sunday rejected the idea that the Huawei affair could pollute trade negotiations with China. The two countries announced a little over a week ago a 90-day truce in their trade war after a meeting between US Presidents Donald Trump and Chinese Presidents Xi Jinping in Argentina.

(with AFP)

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