Meng case 'unprecedented' as extradition request violates international law: defence

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VANCOUVER — A lawyer for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou says the case before a British Columbia Supreme Court judge is "unprecedented" in that the extradition request from the United States violates international law.

Gib van Ert says Canadian courts have stayed extradition proceedings because of international law breaches in the past, but in those cases the conduct around the requests was unlawful.

He says the case against Meng is unique in that the request itself is unlawful, as American authorities are seeking the Chinese national on fraud charges that her lawyers argue have no connection to the United States.

Meng has denied allegations that she lied to HSBC in 2013 about Huawei's relationship with a subsidiary doing business in Iran, putting the bank at risk of violating American sanctions.

Her lawyer says that the B.C. court has the authority to act upon international law breaches even though they are not part of the court's usual day-to-day business.

Van Ert says the court is an extension of the Canadian state, and if the judge approves Meng's extradition, it will mean Canada is condoning American breaches of international law.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 30, 2021.

The Canadian Press