Huawei: Canada launches “the process of extradition” Meng Wanzhou
OTTAWA — The federal ministry of Justice gave on Friday the green light to the extradition proceedings against Meng Wanzhou, accused of fraud in the United States, which marks the official beginning of a process with a high profile that has placed Canada in a position extremely uncomfortable between the two superpowers.
The relations between Canada and China, its second-largest trading partner, have deteriorated since the arrest in Vancouver in December, Ms. Meng, director of finance of the chinese giant telecom Huawei. This arrest has provoked the wrath of Beijing, which has warned Ottawa against of serious “consequences” if Mrs Meng is not released.
China accuses in Canada to give effect to what it considers a request for extradition of a political nature from the Americans – in particular, since the president, Donald Trump has proposed publicly to intervene personally in this case to achieve a better trade agreement with China.
The prime minister Justin Trudeau has always argued that Canada was not respecting the rule of law in this folder. In the press release which announced Friday the”authority to proceed” in this case, we felt already that the government was walking on eggs: the release begins with “Canada is a country governed by the rule of law”.
Ottawa clarifies as soon after that “the process of extradition from Canada is guided by the Law on extradition, international treaties and the canadian Charter of rights and freedoms”. The canadian government adds further that “the decision follows a thorough review and diligent of the evidence”.
In the end, this will be, however, the canadian minister of Justice, David Lametti, to decide whether Ms. Meng will be extradited to the United States. For this reason, his ministry said Friday in a press release that he will not comment on the case.
The issue will return on Wednesday to the supreme Court of British Columbia. The court will then confirm that an authority to proceed has been issued and will set a date for the actual hearing in the matter of extradition. Ms. Meng remains on bail for the following procedures.
This extradition procedure would take no action on the accusations made by the Americans: if Ms. Meng is finally extradited, his trial will take place in the United States.
“Political persecution” against Huawei
After the decision Friday, the lawyers of Ms. Meng expressed disappointment that the minister Lametti had to let the process take its course “in the face of the political nature of the charges,” the american, while the president, Trump has “stated on several occasions that he would intervene if he believed that it would facilitate the negotiations with China on a trade agreement”.
The lawyers of Ms. Meng was surprised also that the minister has given his consent, even if the acts for which the United States wants the judge do not constitute an offence in Canada – is accused of having bypassed trade sanctions the u.s. imposed on Iran.
The u.s. department of Justice filed 13 counts of conspiracy, fraud and obstruction against Huawei and Ms. Meng, the daughter of the company founder, Ren Zhengfei.
The embassy of China in Ottawa stated that it was “extremely dissatisfied” with the decision, calling the case “political persecution against a chinese company high-tech”.
“Subsequent developments have shown: the so-called “rule of law” and “judicial independence” put forward by the Canada cannot conceal the mistakes made by the canadian party in the case of Meng Wanzhou,” says the embassy in a press release.
The allegations of political interference levelled against Mr. Trudeau and senior officials in the case of SNC-Lavalin are not fallen on deaf ears from the chinese government.
A spokesman for the chinese ministry of foreign Affairs admitted Friday at a press conference in Beijing that the response of the canadian government to these allegations caused much interest in China. We had to ask Lu Kang if he believed that the Trudeau government had evidence of “two weights two measures” in the case of Ms. Meng, and SNC-Lavalin.
“I think people of good faith will make the difference,” replied Mr. Read at the daily press conference of the ministry.
Ten days after the arrest of Ms. Meng, the 1st December, China has arrested two Canadians – what some describe as retaliatory measures. China has arrested Michael Kovrig, a canadian diplomat on leave, and Michael Spavor, a contractor, on charges of participation in activities endangering the national security of China. They have been imprisoned since the 10th of December.
China has also sentenced to death another Canadian, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, in the context of a new trial for a case of drug trafficking. He had previously been sentenced in first instance to 15 years in prison.