Meng requests three-month delay in extradition hearing due to new evidence, pandemic

Meng seeks 3-month delay

Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou has applied to court to delay her extradition hearings to August, citing a document issued by Hong Kong court that could be used as evidence.

The adjournment would delay court proceedings in the Meng case by three months.

Defence lawyer Richard Peck said Huawei recently came into possession of the documents issued by Hong Kong court, which the defence argues involves the facts surrounding the relationship between Huawei, its Skycom subsidiary and the bank HSBC.

The new documents have been sealed by Hong Kong court for the parties in that lawsuit only (Huawei as the plaintiff, HSBC as the defendant) and will be subject to a publication ban if admitted in the Meng extradition proceedings.

Peck reassured Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes that - while the judge had said she wanted an expedited conclusion to the hearings, perhaps by May - the new Hong Kong documents need to be assessed for admissibility in order for the court to fulfill its duties to justice.

“At no time during these proceedings have we come before the court with frivolous information,” Peck said. “... No one is asking for adjournment for adjournment’s sake.”

The U.S. is accusing Meng of fraud - which involves her allegedly making false presentations to HSBC in 2013 to assure Skycom and Huawei were separate entities, and Skycom’s operations in Iran does not mean HSBC had to cease banking relations with Huawei in order to avoid U.S. penalties for violating sanctions.

Peck also noted that the current, variant-driven third wave of the COVID pandemic in Canada is a consideration, given that a number of defence and crown counsel are based in Ontario and have to travel to B.C. to participate in the hearings.

“A small adjournment would allow this to abate,” he said.

The hearings are currently scheduled to resume on April 26.

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