Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is escorted by her private security detail while arriving at a parole office, in Vancouver, on Wednesday December 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

U.S. sanction law not enough to prove Canadian fraud: Meng’s lawyers

Extradition hearing next week to determine whether Meng’s case is one of ‘double criminality’

Lawyers for a Huawei executive wanted on fraud charges in the United States are accusing Crown attorneys of relying on American sanction law to make its case for extradition from Canada.

In documents released by the B.C. Supreme Court Friday, Meng Wanzhou’s lawyers say Canada has rejected similar U.S. sanction against Iran and not only permits banks to do business with Iran-based entities but encourages them to do so.

Her lawyers have said she should not be extradited because her actions wouldn’t be considered a crime in Canada.

Both sides will make their arguments to the court next week during an extradition hearing to determine whether Meng’s case is one of “double criminality,” meaning her actions were criminal in both Canada and the country requesting her extradition.

The United States alleges Meng lied about Huawei’s relationship with its Iran-based affiliate Skycom to one of its bankers, HSBC, putting the financial institution at risk of violating American sanctions.

Meng, who’s Huawei CFO, has denied the allegations and remains free on bail and living in one of her multimillion-dollar homes in Vancouver ahead of a court hearing set to begin Jan. 20.

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general have argued Meng’s alleged conduct put HSBC at risk of economic loss and that is sufficient to make a case for fraud in Canada.

They have also previously called the focus on sanctions a “complete red herring.”

“This case is about an alleged misrepresentation made by Ms. Meng to a bank that they relied upon, and in so relying, put their economic interests at risk,” Crown prosecutor John Gibbs-Carsley said in May.

In the new documents, Meng’s team accuses the attorney general of advancing two contrary positions: that American sanctions do not need to be considered to determine whether she committed fraud, and that the sanctions are part of the foreign legal environment that gives context to the alleged misconduct.

“It is apparent that exposure to U.S. sanctions risk is a fundamental aspect of the allegation,” the documents say. “In essence, this is a case of U.S. sanction enforcement masquerading as Canadian fraud.”

The documents say that while Meng’s alleged actions could put HSBC at risk of economic deprivation in the United States, the same economic deprivation could not happen to the bank in Canada.

“It is not a crime in Canada to do something in this country that, if done in the U.S. or elsewhere, would be a crime in the U.S.”

READ MORE: China-Canada relations hang in the balance as Meng extradition case to heat up

There is also no real risk that HSBC would be exposed to economic deprivation through criminal or civil penalties in Canada because the Canadian legal system does not penalize “an innocent victim of fraud,” the documents say.

“If … HSBC is an unwitting victim then it cannot be at risk of deprivation under any criminal law or quasi-criminal (regulatory) laws in Canada,” the documents say.

“We do not punish the morally innocent.”

Amy Smart, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

The Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

No more ferries will sail from Departure Bay, Mill Bay, Brentwood Bay during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Ferries announces major changes to sailing schedules for 60 days starting Saturday, April 4

Suspect arrested after allegedly setting house fire in Cedar

Firefighters arrived to find mobile home ablaze on Barnes Road on Thursday

CVRD cancels all recreation and theatre programs through end of April

Community centre and recreation programs cancelled through end of April

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Ongoing list of Ladysmith COVID-19 cancellations and closures

Everything in Ladysmith that has been impacted by COVID-19

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Saanich mayor receives his foster bees through pollinator rental program

‘I feel like I’m an adoptive father,’ Fred Haynes says of his rented mason bee colony

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Most Read