Meng Wanzhou: Detained Huawei executive accused of sanction-breaking dealings with Iran, court told

The US is seeking the executive's extradition

Andrew Buncombe
Friday 07 December 2018 15:28
China says neither the US or Canada has provided any evidence of wrongdoing against Ms Meng
China says neither the US or Canada has provided any evidence of wrongdoing against Ms Meng

Meng Wanzhou, the detained chief financial officer of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, is facing fraud charges relating to alleged sanctions-breaking dealings with Iran, a Canadian court has been told.

Ms Meng, daughter of Huwei’s founder, was arrested in Vancouver last weekend and faces extradition to the US.

At a hearing to consider the 46-year-old’s bail application, the court was told she faced charges in the US related to Huawei’s alleged use of an unofficial subsidiary to access the Iranian market in dealings that would contravene US sanctions.

China has said neither the US nor Canada has provided any evidence that Ms Meng, the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, who founded Huawei in 1983, has done anything wrong.

Reuters said the arrest, revealed by Canadian authorities late on Wednesday, was part of a US investigation into an alleged scheme to use the global banking system to evade US sanctions against Iran that were reimposed after Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the Iran nuclear deal.

It said Canada’s justice department had declined to provide details of the case.

However, on Friday, a judge in Vancouver lifted a publication ban Ms Meng had secured that had prevented the media reporting on the evidence or documents presented in court.

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The news of Ms Meng’s arrest sent reverberations through global stock markets and added to fears of a trade war between the United States and China after a truce was last week brokered between Mr Trump and Xi Jinping.

Chinese Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Friday that neither Canada nor the United States had provided China any evidence that Ms Meng had broken any law in those two countries, and reiterated Beijing’s demand that she be released.

Huawei, which has confirmed Ms Meng was arrested, said on Wednesday that “the company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng”.

Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters on a conference call that China had been assured by Canada that due process was “absolutely being followed”.

Huawei staff briefed on an internal memo told Reuters on Friday the company had appointed Chairman Liang Hua as acting CFO following Ms Meng’s arrest.

Chinese state media have slammed Ms Meng’s detention, accusing the United States of trying to “stifle” Huawei and curb its global expansion.

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