Huawei CFO’s attorneys ask for USA extradition to be withdrawn

Lawyers for Huawei CFO urge Canada's Justice Minister to withdraw extradition proceedings

Lawyers for Huawei CFO urge Canada's Justice Minister to withdraw extradition proceedings

Lawyers for Huawei's chief financial officer, who is being detained in Vancouver on US fraud charges against her, on Monday urged Canada's Minister of Justice to reconsider whether to withdraw the extradition proceedings.

The defence team for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou is calling on the government of Canada to end the extradition process against their client calling the case "palpably" political.

In a statement, Meng's Canadian lawyers said "the extradition proceedings are without merit" and that ending them would be in Canada's "best interests".

Under Canada's extradition law, Lametti has the discretion to withdraw the proceedings against Meng at any time, the lawyers say. "This is not a common move", said Leo Adler, a Toronto-based criminal lawyer with expertise extradition.

"It would be a very unsafe precedent indeed for Canada to alter its behavior when it comes to honoring an extradition treaty in response to external pressure", Freeland told reporters earlier this month.

The politics of the Meng case are particularly complex - and its implications far-reaching. They argue that Canada does not have the jurisdiction to prosecute her for the alleged actions, which would not be an offense in Canada since the United States is the country with sanction laws prohibiting business dealings with Iran. The company denies the charges.

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Relations between China and Canada have been strained since Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were detained by Beijing last December for alleged spying after Meng was arrested.

But some prominent Canadians, including Trudeau's former ambassador to China and, most recently, former prime minister Jean Chretien, have suggested that Canada ought to drop the charges against Meng.

On Monday, Meng's Canadian lawyers said they sent the Canadian Minister of Justice information clarifying the legal basis to withdraw the proceedings.

But Canada's foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, said dropping the charges would set a "dangerous precedent". Though he did not mention the Meng case, the remark immediately renewed speculation that some sort of deal could be struck. The lawyers' statement included appeals to Canadian nationalism that could resonate with some Canadian voters.

"None of the conduct occurred in the United States or Canada".

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