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Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou loses key aspect of US extradition case in Canada court

Published: Updated:

Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou has lost a key aspect of the trial on her extradition to the United States, a Canadian court announced on Wednesday.

The judge sided with the Canadian prosecutors in ruling that the legal standard of double criminality had been met, meaning the US charges against Meng are also crimes in Canada.

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The United States has charged Meng with bank fraud and misleading HSBC about a Huawei-owned company’s dealings with Iran – was also illegal in Canada at the time of her December 2018 arrest.

The ruling paves the way for the extradition hearing to proceed to the second phase starting June.

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Meng, a Chinese citizen, was arrested in December 2018 on a warrant issued by US authorities, who accuse her of bank fraud and misleading HSBC about a Huawei-owned company’s dealings with Iran, thereby breaking US sanctions on Tehran.

Meng’s lawyers argued that the case should be thrown out because the alleged offences were not a crime in Canada.

But British Columbia’s Superior Court Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes disagreed, ruling the legal standard of double criminality had been met.

“Ms. Meng’s approach ... would seriously limit Canada’s ability to fulfill its international obligations in the extradition context for fraud and other economic crimes,” Holmes said.