Court Denies HSBC Publication Ban In Meng Wanzhou Case

A Canadian court has denied a request by Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou for a publication ban on documents received from HSBC for her US extradition case.

Meng was arrested in 2018 and has been under house arrest for more than two years as she fights an extradition order to the US, where she is accused of bank fraud.

The US alleges Meng misled HSBC over Huawei’s business dealings in Iran, causing the bank to break US sanctions. Meng maintains she is innocent of the charges.

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou speaks at an event in September 2016 at Tsinghua University. Image credit: Huawei

Public access

Canadian prosecutors had fought her request to prevent the publication of the HSBC documents, received via a court in Hong Kong.

The documents were provided on the condition that Meng make a reasonable effort to keep them private.

The British Columbia Supreme Court has now dismissed the request, said Daniel Coles, a legal counsel representing media outlets who also argued against the publication ban, Reuters reported.

The reasons for the denial were not disclosed, pending issues relating to a previous publication ban, Coles said.

Selective redaction

Prosecutors had argued a ban should be “tailored” and details should be selectively redacted, in order to maintain with the open court principle that requires court proceedings to be accessible to the public and the media.

Huawei Canada said the company accepts the court’s decision and that “the truth in these documents can now come out”.

Meng’s lawyers argue the HSBC documents, whose contents remains unknown, are relevant to her defence.

Hearings in the case are scheduled to finish in late August, but appeals could continue for years.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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