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Huawei CFO's alleged actions had 'no genuine connection' to U.S., her lawyers say

Moira Warburton
·2-min read
Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou arrives at court in Vancouver

By Moira Warburton

TORONTO (Reuters) -Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou's alleged actions had "no genuine connection" to the United States, her lawyers have argued in their latest bid to end her extradition from Canada, according to court documents released on Friday.

Meng, 48, was arrested two years ago at the Vancouver airport by Canadian police on an arrest warrant from the United States, where she is charged with bank and wire fraud for allegedly misleading HSBC about Huawei Tech Co Ltd's business dealings in Iran.

She has claimed innocence and is fighting the extradition while under house arrest in Vancouver. Witness testimony wrapped up earlier this week in her case.

Her lawyers have fought to add an additional allegation of abuse of process to the case, claiming that the United States misrepresented Meng's actions to Canada in its request for her extradition, and that her actions did not cause HSBC to violate U.S. sanctions against Iran.

The United States' claim that it has jurisdiction over Meng's actions "is based solely on non-US business transactions between non-US corporations using non-US banks," Meng's lawyers wrote. "None of (Meng's) alleged conduct occurred in whole or in part in the U.S., nor did it have any effect there."

International law "does not allow a state to criminalize the conduct of a non-national, outside that state, for representations made to another non-national, where there is no substantial and genuine connection to that state," they added.

Huawei lawyers also submitted seven affidavits from legal experts - including an ex-U.S. ambassador and international law professors in California and the Netherlands - to support their claims.

Canadian government lawyers, who have previously argued that the extradition request is valid, will file submissions in coming weeks. Canada's justice department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Huawei's legal filings.

Meng will next be in court on Dec. 23 for a case management conference. Her case is expected to wrap up in May 2021.

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto; Editing by Aurora Ellis and Daniel Wallis)