A Canadian judge Wednesday ruled against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, meaning her extradition proceedings to the US would continue.
The case centered on the legal issue of “double criminality” — whether the charges against Meng in the US would also be a crime in Canada. The Americans said Meng surreptitiously dealt with Iran in violation of US sanctions against that country. But Meng’s lawyers argued the charges were not valid in Canada because it has no sanctions against Iran.
However, British Columbia Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes released a 23-page report that did not accept the defense argument.
“Ms. Meng’s approach to the double criminality analysis would seriously limit Canada’s ability to fulfill its international obligations in the extradition context for fraud and other economic crimes,” Holmes wrote.
After the ruling, Meng and her lawyers were to go into court to discuss the next steps in the proceedings.
Meng was arrested in a Vancouver airport Dec. 1, 2018 at the request of the US under an extradition treaty between the two countries. She was granted a CAN$10 million ($7.25 million) bail and has been under partial house arrest in her British Columbia home for 18 months.
China demanded Meng’s release and when that did not happen Beijing began a series of retaliatory actions.
Two Canadians were arrested Dec. 10 of that year on spying charges. They remain in jail.
China then began a series of trade sanctions against Canadian products, including soybean imports, a ban on beef and other measures were implemented. The Chinese purchases play a major role in Canada’s agricultural sector.
In a news conference Tuesday, China warned Canada that already strained relations would worsen unless Meng was freed.
“China’s position on the Meng Wanzhou case is consistent and clear,” said foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. “The U.S. and Canada abused their bilateral extradition treaty and arbitrarily took compulsory measures against a Chinese citizen without cause.”
Meng is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei.
The courts in China are under government control and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Chinese officials do not understand courts in Canada are independent.
“Canada has an independent judicial system that functions without interference or override by politicians,” Trudeau said days before the decision in Meng’s case Wednesday. “China does not work quite the same way and doesn’t seem to understand that.”