Huawei CFO Sues Canadian Government Over Arrest

The Canadian government is being sued by Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in early December by Canadian authorities for alleged sanction busting with Iran.

Wanzhou’s lawsuit is against the Canadian government, its border agency and federal police, and it alleges that Wanzhou was detained, searched and interrogated for three hours in violation of her constitutional rights.

Her civil lawsuit comes after Canada decided (as expected) on Friday to grant the extradition of the daughter of the founder of Huawei, to the US.

Wanzhou lawsuit

Canada had arrested Wanzhou in Vancouver on 1 December, but late last week she filed civil lawsuit in the British Columbia Supreme Court.

According to Reuters, Wanzhou’s lawyers state that the manner in which Canadian officers obtained evidence and information from her constituted serious violations of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The lawsuit also apparently states that Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers deliberately delayed the immediate execution of an arrest warrant and unlawfully subjected her to detention, search and interrogation to extract evidence from her before she was arrested.

The lawsuit also then states that Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Canada’s federal police) only exercised its arrest warrant three hours after Wanzhou’s “unlawful” detention at the airport.

And it seems that Wanzhou is also unhappy that Canadian law enforcement accessed her electronic devices. Her lawsuit, according to Reuters, further alleged that she was directed to surrender all her electronic devices, computers and passwords and that CBSA officers then unlawfully opened and viewed the contents of the seized devices in violation of her right to privacy.

CBSA officers also searched Meng’s luggage in violation of the right to privacy, the lawsuit reportedly said.

“The CBSA Officers knew or were recklessly indifferent to the fact that they had no authority to conduct such a search, which search was performed under the false pretence of a routine customs or immigration related examination,” the lawsuit apparently reads.

Wanzhou extradition

Wanzhou is facing 23 charges in the US, with the charges split across two indictments by the US Department of Justice.

The first covers claims Huawei hid business links to Iran – which is subject to US trade sanctions. The second includes the charge of attempted theft of trade secrets.

Wanzhou is currently out on bail, but she is due to appear in a Vancouver court late on Wednesday, when a date will be set for her extradition hearing.

It comes after the Canadian government officially approved her extradition proceedings on Friday. But there are likely to be other legal appeals before Wanzhou is extradited.

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Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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