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Huawei CFO’s alleged actions had ‘no genuine connection’ to U.S., her lawyers say

Randy Mancini 13 December 18, 2020

December 19, 2020

By Moira Warburton

TORONTO (Reuters) – Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou’s alleged actions had “no genuine connection” to the United States, her lawyers have argued in their latest bid to end her extradition from Canada, according to court documents released on Friday.

Meng, 48, was arrested two years ago at the Vancouver airport by Canadian police on an arrest warrant from the United States, where she is charged with bank and wire fraud for allegedly misleading HSBC about Huawei Tech Co Ltd’s business dealings in Iran.

She has claimed innocence and is fighting the extradition while under house arrest in Vancouver. Witness testimony wrapped up earlier this week in her case.

Her lawyers have fought to add an additional allegation of abuse of process to the case, claiming that the United States misrepresented Meng’s actions to Canada in its request for her extradition, and that her actions did not cause HSBC to violate U.S. sanctions against Iran.

The United States’ claim that it has jurisdiction over Meng’s actions “is based solely on non-US business transactions between non-US corporations using non-US banks,” Meng’s lawyers wrote in a notice of submission, released on Friday.

“None of (Meng’s) alleged conduct occurred in whole or in part in the U.S., nor did it have any effect there,” they continued.

International law “does not allow a state to criminalize the conduct of a non-national, outside that state, for representations made to another non-national, where there is no substantial and genuine connection to that state,” Meng’s lawyers wrote.

Meng will next be in court on Dec. 23 for a case management conference.

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto; Editing by Aurora Ellis)