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Huawei CFO says HSBC emails challenge basis for US extradition claim

Lawyers for Meng Wanzhou say HSBC documents show senior managers of the bank were aware of her dealings in Iran. They claim the US extradition case is flawed. Photo: Reuters.

Internal emails from British bank HSBC disprove US claims that Huawei misled the bank, lawyers for Meng Wanzhou claim; final hearings due next month


(AF) Lawyers in Canada fighting the extradition of Huawei’s chief financial officer to the United States on Tuesday presented internal emails from British bank HSBC that they said disproved US claims that Huawei misled the bank.
CFO Meng Wanzhou’s legal team said the emails and documents submitted to a Canadian court showed at least two senior HSBC leaders were aware of connections between Huawei and its Iranian subsidiary, Skycom.
“These HSBC documents demonstrate the false and misleading nature of the US’s Record of the Case, on which the Canadian courts are being asked to rely,” Huawei said in a statement.
Meng’s lawyers are trying to add the documents to evidence. They are meant to counter US charges that only junior employees of the British bank knew about the true nature of relationship between Huawei and Skycom.
US prosecutors have alleged that Meng misled HSBC about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran and may have caused the bank to break US sanctions.
Meng, 49, was arrested in December 2018 at Vancouver International Airport on charges of bank fraud in the United States. She has been held on house arrest for more than two years while her case moves through the Canadian legal system.
Her legal team has extracted internal documents from HSBC through a court in Hong Kong, and they hope to refer to them in the case’s final hearings scheduled for August.
In particular, the defence alleges that two HSBC managing directors viewed Meng’s presentation to HSBC about Huawei’s business in Iran. They said it made clear Skycom’s ownership structure, and therefore any reputational risks at HSBC should have been managed with the bank’s senior executives knowing the true facts.
Meng and her legal team appeared in the British Columbia Supreme Court on Tuesday on the first day of a two-day hearing where they will argue to add more evidence to support her case.
The evidence shows the US argument is “so defective as to compel the courts to place no reliance on them,” Mark Sandler, defence lawyer for Meng, told the court.
Prosecutors representing the Canadian government argued that the evidence and arguments were beyond the scope of an extradition hearing.
The final part of the extradition proceeding is set to begin the first week of August and will start with the arguments about the record of the case that the defence is hoping to bolster with the HSBC documents.
The extradition proceeding will conclude with arguments on the request for extradition itself.
With reporting from Reuters.


HSBC hammered over Huawei legal fight in Canada

Iris Hong

Iris Hong is a senior reporter for the China desk, and has special interests in fintech, e-commerce, AI, and electric vehicles. She began her career in 2006 and worked for Interfax News Agency and for PayPal before joining Asia Financial in July 2020. You can reach out to Iris on Twitter at @Iris23360981


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