Huawei CFO Suing Canada, Its Border Agency and National Police as Extradition Hearing Proceeds

Huawei CFO Suing Canada, Its Border Agency and National Police as Extradition Hearing Proceeds
Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co. (C), leaves her home while out on bail in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Jan. 10, 2019. (Ben Nelms/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

TORONTO—Huawei chief financial officer is suing the Canadian government, its border agency and the national police force, saying they detained, searched and interrogated her before telling her she was under arrest.

Lawyers for Meng Wanzhou said March 3 they filed a notice of civil claim in the British Columbia Supreme Court on March 1.

Canada arrested the daughter of Huawei’s founder at the request of the U.S. on Dec. 1 at Vancouver’s airport. US prosecutors indicted Meng on fraud charges that she misled banks about the company’s business dealings in Iran, violating US sanctions against the country.

The civil suit alleges that instead of immediately arresting her, authorities interrogated Meng “under the guise of a routine customs” examination and used the opportunity to “compel her to provide evidence and information.”

The suit alleges Canada Border Service Agency agents seized her electronic devices, obtained passwords and unlawfully viewed the contents and intentionally failed to adviser her of the true reasons for her detention. The suit said only after three hours was she told she was under arrest and had right to counsel.

Such actions amounted to a “serious breach” of Meng’s constitutional rights, the lawsuit alleges, according to Canadian media outlet The Globe and Mail.

Meng is currently out on bail and living in Vancouver awaiting extradition proceedings.

On March 1, Canadian Justice Department officials gave the go-ahead for her extradition proceedings to begin. Meng is due in court on March 6 to set a date for the proceedings to start. It could be several months or even years before her case is resolved.

Meng’s arrest set off a diplomatic furor and severely strained Canadian relations with China. In the aftermath of the arrest, the communist regime warned Canada of “grave consequence” if it did not release Meng.

China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor on Dec. 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng.

A Chinese court also sentenced a Canadian to death in a sudden retrial, overturning a 15-year prison term handed down earlier. Kovrig and Spavor haven’t had access to a lawyer or to their families since being arrested.

Messages left for the Canadian government, the Canada Border Services Agency and Royal Canadian Mounted Police were not immediately returned.

By Rob Gillies

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