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U.S. 'cherry-picked' evidence against Meng: lawyer

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 28 Sep, 2020
  • U.S. 'cherry-picked' evidence against Meng: lawyer

Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou is back in a Vancouver court today, where her lawyers are arguing the United States omitted or misstated facts to Canadian officials ahead of her arrest.

Meng is wanted on fraud charges in the United States, which she and Huawei have denied.

She is accused of misrepresenting Huawei's relationship with Skycom in a 2013 PowerPoint presentation to HSBC, allegedly putting the bank at risk of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Canada's attorney general has said in documents that Huawei controlled Skycom's operations in Iran from 2007 until 2014, which contradicts Meng's statements.

Defence lawyer Scott Fenton told the judge hearing the extradition case in B.C. Supreme Court today that the United States cherry-picked information from the PowerPoint presentation that Meng made to HSBC in 2013 in its collection of evidence.

He said the summary of allegations provided to Canada is "manifestly unreliable" and "seriously misleading."

Fenton said the summary omitted slides in the presentation where Meng described Huawei as having a "normal and controllable" relationship with Skycom, and another where she describes Huawei and Skycom as business partners that both did business in Iran.

"It put HSBC on full notice that both Huawei and Skycom were doing business in Iran," Fenton said.

It means Meng and Huawei informed HSBC that if it chose to process U.S. dollars relating to commerce in Iran through it U.S. subsidiaries, it would be at risk of liability under American sanction laws, he said.

"After she's informed HSBC that its commerce with Skycom is in Iran, HSBC is on full notice in terms of measuring sanctions risk."

Fenton told Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes that if she agreed there was an "air of reality" to the defence allegations that the United States failed in its duty to present fair and frank representations of what happened, she could order a stay in proceedings or an exclusion of the evidence.

"Where the court finds there are material misstatements and omissions going to the heart of the record of the case, then the court may intervene, find an abuse of process and fashion an appropriate remedy," Fenton said.

The attorney general is expected to deliver a response to the defence arguments on Tuesday.

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