Meng Prosecutor Says HSBC Records Don’t Belong in Extradition
(Bloomberg) -- A Canadian prosecutor urged a British Columbia judge to reject Huawei Technologies Co.’s chief financial officer’s attempt to use bank records to undermine a U.S. extradition request.
Meng Wanzhou, 49, is seeking to have HSBC Holdings Plc documents admitted as evidence in the extradition hearing, arguing they show that the U.S. handover request is fundamentally flawed and should be thrown out.
“They want you to get down into the weeds of inference-drawing and that is the exclusive preserve of the trial court,” Robert Frater, a Canadian government lawyer arguing on behalf of U.S. authorities, told British Columbia Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes Wednesday.
The defense obtained the HSBC documents under the supervision of a Hong Kong court. Meng is attempting to use the documents in a final round of extradition hearings scheduled for August.
The eldest daughter of Huawei’s billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei, Meng is accused of lying to HSBC about Huawei’s relationship with Skycom, a company that did business in Iran in violation of U.S. trade sanctions. U.S. prosecutors claim she exposed the bank to criminal liability for sanctions violations.
Meng’s lawyers say the stash of records and emails show that HSBC officials were fully aware that Huawei controlled Skycom when it conducted risk assessments. As such, the U.S. allegations, which the Canadian court is being asked to rely on, are false and misleading, they said.
Frater told the judge Wednesday that the records don’t prove that HSBC executives knew that Huawei controlled Skycom. The bank did have information on the true state of Skycom’s ownership in its records, but “there is no evidence that someone connected the dots,” Frater said.
Also, the HSBC manager who handled the bank’s relationship with Huawei testified that he didn’t know about Huawei’s control of Skycom, Frater said.
“If they want to challenge him on that point, they have to do it at trial,” in the U.S., Frater said.
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