Huawei Lawyers Question Border Officials In US Extradition Case

Fourth day of US extradition case sees Huawei’s lawyers for CFO Meng Wanzhou questioning Canadian border officials about her arrest

The legal battle over the extradition of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou continues with a fourth day of questioning of Canadian officials in court.

Lawyers for Wanzhou resumed questioning a Canada border officer who intercepted Meng before the federal police arrested her, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Wanzhou was arrested in early December 2018 by Canadian authorities on behalf of the United States, for alleged sanction busting with Iran.

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Court case

Wanzhou disputed her arrest right from the start, and in March 2019 she sued the Canadian government, its border agency and federal police, and alleged that she was detained, searched and interrogated for three hours in violation of her constitutional rights.

However in May she lost a legal battle in British Columbia’s Supreme Court in Vancouver, after it ruled that Wanzhou’s extradition to the United States can proceed.

But on Wednesday, Reuters reported that Scott Kirkland, an officer with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), told a Vancouver court he was worried about allegations being brought of potential civil rights violations if the agency intercepted and interviewed Wanzhou before her arrest by Canadian police.

Wanzhou’s legal team have alleged abuses of process happened in the three hours between when she was intercepted by CBSA officers and her arrest by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), when she had no legal representation.

Police testimony

The officer who arrested her, RCMP Constable Winston Yep, testified over Monday, Tuesday and part of Wednesday, before Kirkland took the stand, Reuters reported.

Yep reportedly insisted that the RCMP stayed in their lane and did not direct the CBSA in its investigation of Wanzhou.

Canadian prosecutors have tried to prove that Wanzhou’s arrest was carried out correctly, and any lapses in due process should not impact the validity of her extradition.

Wanzhou’s extradition hearings are scheduled to wrap up in April 2021, although the potential for appeals mean the case could drag on for years.