Key witness in Huawei CFO's arrest declines to testify in Canada court
By Tessa Vikander VANCOUVER (Reuters) - A key witness involved in the arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou two years ago has decided not to testify in the Canadian court as part of Meng's ongoing witness cross-examination, the court heard on Monday. Meng arrived back in the British Columbia Supreme Court on Monday as her U.S.
By Tessa Vikander
VANCOUVER (Reuters) - A key witness involved in the arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou two years ago has decided not to testify in the Canadian court as part of Meng's ongoing witness cross-examination, the court heard on Monday.
Meng arrived back in the British Columbia Supreme Court on Monday as her U.S. extradition hearing resumed. Her lawyers are fighting to establish that Meng's rights were violated during the events leading up to her arrest.
Her lawyers called the refusal of a senior Canadian police officer to testify in court "concerning."
Meng, 48, was arrested in December 2018 at Vancouver International Airport by Canadian police, on a warrant from the United States. She is facing charges of bank fraud for allegedly misleading HSBC
Meng has said she is innocent and is fighting the extradition from under house arrest in Vancouver, where she owns a home in one of Canada's most expensive neighborhoods.
On Monday defense lawyer Richard Peck told the court one of the key witnesses, Staff Sergeant Ben Chang with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), would not be testifying after seeking counsel from a lawyer.
According to court documents, Chang, who is now retired, allegedly sent details of Meng's electronic devices to the FBI. Chang denied the allegation in an affidavit submitted to courts.
Peck told the court Chang's refusal to testify is "a matter that will be of some concern," adding that "there may be any number of consequences from his refusal to testify."
HEARINGS RUN OVERTIME
Monday kicks off 10 days of testimony that are a continuation of hearings that were set to wrap up in early November but ran overtime, necessitating more hearings to be scheduled.
Lawyers for both Meng and the Canadian government will spend the week cross-examining Canadian law enforcement officers and border officials who were involved in the initial investigation and arrest of Meng.
Meng's lawyers are fighting to get her extradition dismissed on the basis of alleged abuses of process, arguing they constitute violations of her civil rights laid out in Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
In the first week of hearings, prosecutors for the Canadian government tried to prove that Meng's arrest was by the book and any lapses in due process should not impact the validity of her extradition.
The defence has argued CBSA officers should have delayed their examination of Meng and turned her over immediately to the RCMP, and that doing otherwise violated her rights.
On Monday, prosecutor Diba Majzub asked CBSA officer Sanjit Dhillon, who was involved with examining Meng, whether it was common for border officers to delay customs examination on non-Canadians.
"I've never seen a case where the examination was delayed in any way," Dhillon said.
The extradition hearings are scheduled to wrap up in April 2021, though the potential for appeals mean the case could drag on for years.
Earlier on Monday, Huawei said in a statement the hearings had revealed "important information" about Meng's arrest, adding the company "continues to have great confidence in both Meng's innocence and the integrity of the Canadian judicial system."
Diplomatic relations between Ottawa and Beijing became rocky following Meng's arrest. Soon after her detention, China arrested Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig on espionage charges.
(Reporting Tessa Vikander in Vancouver; Writing by Moira Warburton; Editing by Denny Thomas, Leslie Adler, Nick Zieminski and Lincoln Feast)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.