Huawei Improperly Helping CFO Meng Fight Extradition, U.S. Says
(Bloomberg) -- Lawyers for Huawei Technologies Co. are violating a court order by sharing documents from the company’s sanctions-violations case in New York with Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou for use in her fight against extradition from Canada, U.S. prosecutors claim.
U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly in Brooklyn, New York, had ruled that thousands of pages of classified documents turned over by the U.S. government to Huawei’s defense lawyers couldn’t be shared with anyone in China or with Meng, but federal prosecutors said Wednesday that recent filings by the CFO in her extradition case show she’s had access to them.
“Huawei is circumventing the restrictions properly established in the U.S. criminal case,” and using the evidence materials “to assist Meng in her repeated attempts to conduct a trial on the merits in Canada,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Solomon said in a letter filed with the court.
David Bitkower, a lawyer for Huawei, didn’t immediately return calls and emails seeking comment about the U.S. claims. Huawei’s U.S. defense lawyers have long complained about insufficient disclosure of evidence from prosecutors.
Brooklyn federal prosecutors charged the Chinese tech giant and its CFO with fraud in 2019, alleging they lied to HSBC Holdings Plc about Huawei’s relationship with another company, Skycom, that was doing business in Iran as part of a scheme to violate U.S. trade sanctions on that country.
Huawei has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in December 2018 in Vancouver, where hearings on her challenge to the U.S. extradition request are currently underway and are expected to continue until May. Under U.S. law, she isn’t entitled to see any evidence until she appears in court in Brooklyn.
Solomon said portions of the restricted documents were reflected in a number of recent filings by Meng in Vancouver, including one in which she made “unsupported and speculative allegations” that U.S. authorities had misled their Canadian counterparts.
Huawei’s actions “violate both the letter and spirit of the protective orders entered into in this case, and reflect that Huawei’s counsel is acting as Meng’s extradition counsel and impermissibly using the government’s discovery in this case to help Meng fight extradition from Canada,” the prosecutor said.
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