China has renewed a call for Canada to release senior Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, who is set to appear at a court in Vancouver to fight her extradition to the United States on fraud charges.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Monday that Ottawa should also correct its “mistake” of arresting Meng.
The ministry described Meng’s extradition case as a “grave political incident,” calling for her release as soon as possible.
“The US and Canada are abusing their bilateral extradition treaty,” said Geng.
Meng — the chief financial officer of the Chinese telecom giant — was arrested on behalf of the US in Vancouver in December 2018.
She is wanted in the US on charges of bank fraud, trade secrets theft and sanctions evasion. Meng has denied wrongdoing.
Her attorney said officials in the US and Canada orchestrated a “covert criminal investigation” to unlawfully detain, search and interrogate Meng, according to court documents.
In order to secure her freedom, Meng needs to convince a Canadian judge that the US charges would not stand up in Canada and are politically motivated.
According to legal experts, an extradition request could be turned down if it is deemed to be politically motivated or if a person extradited could face the death penalty.
If the US accusations are found to be a crime in Canada, it will proceed to a next phase in June, when a court would hear defense arguments that authorities conspired to detain the Huawei’s chief financial officer as part of a “covert criminal investigation.”
Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in the middle of a bitter trade war between Washington and Beijing.
She has been out on bail, living in her Vancouver house for the past year.
In the 13 months since her detention, relations between Beijing and Ottawa have severely soured.
China has so far detained two Canadians on national security charges, sentenced a third to death and imposed restrictions on agricultural imports.
In retaliation, Canada was also considering whether to allow Huawei to participate in the development of its next-generation 5G network.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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