WASHINGTON — Canada's former ambassador to China might have committed an unforgivable diplomatic gaffe when he sized up the case against Meng Wanzhou, but that doesn't mean his assessment was wrong.
So say legal experts who have examined the public details of the case against Huawei's chief financial officer, who is free on bail in Vancouver and facing extradition to the U.S. to answer to bank fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy charges.
Ambassador John McCallum lost his job last month after publicly detailing reasons he believed Meng has a strong case to make in fighting the extradition order.
Henry Chang, a Toronto-based immigration lawyer who specializes in cross-border issues, says the political overtones — President Donald Trump has publicly expressed a willingness to intervene — will allow Meng to argue the charges are politically motivated, and the extradition request an abuse of process.
In an analysis to be released later today, Chang also says because the alleged crimes occurred outside North America, there's a chance Justice Minister David Lametti could refuse to surrender Meng on the grounds that neither Canada nor the U.S. has jurisdiction.
Wesley Wark, a University of Ottawa professor and national-security specialist, says he believes the case against Meng is weak, especially when compared with other similar extradition cases involving Canada over the years.