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'Leave the politics to the politicians,' lawyer urges judge in Meng case

Avoid politics, lawyer urges

A Crown lawyer is urging a B.C. Supreme Court judge to ignore the "geopolitical winds swirling around" Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou's extradition case and focus instead on the legal context.

Robert Frater told Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes that Meng's legal team is trying to bring the elephant into the room by introducing arguments centred on comments made by former U.S. president Donald Trump about the case.

Frater says Holmes should focus on facts and law, while leaving politics to the politicians.

He made the comments in response to claims from Meng's legal team that Trump's comments 10 days after her arrest at Vancouver's airport in December 2018 represented a threat and poisoned the Canadian proceedings.

Trump was asked by media if he would intervene in the case to get a better deal in trade talks with China, and he responded that he would "certainly intervene" if he thought it was necessary.

Meng is wanted in the United States on fraud charges that both she and Huawei deny.

Her lawyers allege Trump's comments constitute an abuse of process and they are asking for a stay of proceedings.

"Everyone in this courtroom knows that the elephant in the room in this case has always been the geopolitical winds that swirl around it," Frater told the judge.

"We're confident that when you look at the facts and apply the law, you will dismiss this motion."



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