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

Trucking company fined $175K for Lemon Creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

Interior Health leading the way with innovative therapy for stroke patients

Percentage of ischemic stroke patients who received treatment has risen dramatically

Missing Nelson woman found dead

Police say there is no evidence of a crime in the death of Heather Gunderson

Foul play involved in Slocan Valley man’s death, police say

RCMP have identified dead man as 47-year-old Aaron Graham

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

VIDEO: Wet’suwet’en supporters vow to keep protesting at B.C. legislature

Supporters say they will continue ongoing action to hold government accountable

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

B.C. city rebrands with new logo, cheeky slogan

‘Langford, where it all happens’ is the City’s new slogan

B.C. Liberals call for ban on foreign funds to pipeline protesters

Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee back Coastal GasLink blockades

Donations pour in for family who lost father, son in fatal crash on B.C. highway

Mike Cochlin and sons Liam and Quinn were travelling on Highway 5A

Most Read