Huawei CFO to appear in Canada court for bail hearing as Chinese media slam arrest

Details of the case against Meng, to be heard in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, remain sparse.

A top executive of China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd who is under arrest in Canada is set to appear in a Vancouver court on Friday for a bail hearing as she awaits possible extradition to the United States.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, 46, who is also the daughter of the company founder, was arrested on 1 Dec. at the request of the United States. The arrest, revealed by Canadian authorities late on Wednesday, was part of a US investigation into an alleged scheme to use the global banking system to evade US sanctions against Iran, people familiar with the probe told Reuters.

Huawei. Image; Reuters.

Huawei. Image; Reuters.

The news roiled global stock markets on fears the move could escalate a trade war between the United States and China after a truce was agreed on Saturday between President Donald Trump and Xi Jinping in Argentina.

Trump did not know about the arrest in advance, two US officials said on Thursday, in an apparent attempt to stop the incident from impeding talks to resolve the trade dispute.

Details of the case against Meng, to be heard in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, remain sparse.

Canada’s Justice Department has declined to provide details of the case and Meng has secured a publication ban, which curbs the media’s ability to report on the evidence or documents presented in court.

Chinese Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Friday that neither Canada nor the United States had provided China any evidence that Meng had broken any law in those two countries, and reiterated Beijing’s demand that she be released.

The bail hearing could be just a preliminary session to set out a schedule, lawyers said.

The Crown counsel is expected to argue that Meng poses a flight risk and should be kept in a detention facility, legal experts said. The onus will be on Meng’s lawyer to provide evidence that she will not flee, they added.

Huawei, which has confirmed Meng was arrested, said on Wednesday that “the company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Meng.”

A Huawei spokesman declined to comment on Thursday and said that Wednesday’s statement still stands.

Huawei staff briefed on an internal memo told Reuters on Friday the company had appointed Chairman Liang Hua as acting CFO following Meng’s arrest.

Chinese state media have slammed Meng’s detention, accusing the United States of trying to “stifle” Huawei and curb its global expansion.





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