Canada says border officials followed rules in Huawei arrest
VANCOUVER — Canada’s attorney general said Monday that officials followed the law when they detained a top Chinese tech executive at Vancouver’s airport and the defence has no proof to substantiate its “conspiracy theory” that she was illegally arrested.
The attorney general said in court documents released Monday there is no evidence to suggest the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or the FBI asked border agents to elicit information from Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou during her detention.
Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, was arrested at Vancouver’s airport on December 1. The U.S. requested the arrest and is seeking her extradition on fraud charges.
Meng returned to court Monday where her lawyers are asking for documents that they say would support their allegations. Richard Peck, her lawyer, told the court that border officials took Meng’s personal electronic devices and obtained the passwords to her devices before handing them over to the RCMP.
Meng’s extradition trial won’t begin until Jan. 20 and she is free on bail while living in a multimillion-dollar mansion in Vancouver.
Her arrest severely damaged relations between China and Canada. Beijing detained two Canadians, ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor, on Dec. 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng.
China has also stopped importing certain Canadian products like canola and meat, and it also re-sentenced a convicted Canadian drug smuggler to death after the Meng arrest as part of an apparent campaign of intimidation and retribution against Canada.
China and the U.S. are currently embroiled in a trade war that has roiled global financial markets.