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Huawei says detained CFO to seek extradition stay, rights violated

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By Evan Duggan and Karen Freifeld

VANCOUVER/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Huawei said on Wednesday that it will seek to stay extradition proceedings against its detained chief financial officer, saying her business activities were conducted with the full knowledge of banking officials.

Meng Wanzhou, 47, the daughter of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested at Vancouver’s airport in December on a U.S. warrant and is fighting extradition on fraud charges that she misled global banks about Huawei’s relationship with a company operating in Iran.

The Huawei statement did not name any bank, but Meng is accused by the Unites States of conspiring to defraud HSBC Holdings Plc and other banks by misrepresenting Huawei’s relationship with Skycom Tech Co Ltd.

Huawei has previously said Skycom was a local business partner in Iran, while the United States maintains it was an unofficial subsidiary used to conceal Huawei’s Iran business.

Huawei and Skycom are also defendants in the U.S. case, accused of bank and wire fraud, as well as violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Meng lawyers on Wednesday also said comments by U.S. President Donald Trump, who told Reuters the charges against Meng could be dropped if that would help China trade talks, disqualify the United States from pursuing the case further in Canadian courts.

Her defence also said Meng’s rights were violated upon her arrest last December.

The initial focus in Wednesday’s hearing before Justice Heather Holmes of the British Columbia Supreme Court was on procedural matters, including a request for Meng to move to a larger second residence she owns while under house arrest in Vancouver.

Such a move is sure to deepen the anger of some Canadians at the difference between her lifestyle and how two Canadians are being held in a Chinese detention center, said Paul Evans, a professor at the University of British Columbia’s School of Public Policy and Global Affairs.

In recent weeks, China has upped the pressure on Canada and halted Canadian canola imports and suspended the permits of two major pork producers. Chinese police also detained two Canadian citizens after Meng’s arrest.

Meanwhile, a second Huawei Canada executive has left the company, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

Meng’s case has attracted global attention and sparked a diplomatic crisis between Beijing and Ottawa. China has repeatedly demanded Meng’s release.

Meng was released from jail in December on C$10 million ($7.5 million) bail and must wear a GPS tracker, an ankle bracelet and pay for security guards. She has been living in a Vancouver home valued at C$5.6 million in 2017.

She arrived at court, wearing an elegant full-length black and grey weave-pattern dress, with the ankle monitor prominently visible.

(Reporting by Evan Duggan in Vancouver and Karen Freifeld in New York; Additional reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; writing by Denny Thomas; editing by Bill Rigby, Jonathan Oatis and Lisa Shumaker)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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