Extradition ruling almost certain to be litigated further

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou loses the first round in her fight against extradition. But the decision ultimately falls to the Attorney-General.

It’s been 160 years since a Toronto court ordered John Anderson, an escaped slave, sent back to Missouri to stand accused of murdering a slave owner in self-defence.

More than a century-and-a-half hasn’t changed the principles of the law — and politics — around extradition.

The B.C. Supreme Court, on Wednesday, denied a motion from Meng Wanzhou, the Chief Financial Officer of Chinese tech giant Huawei, to stave off her own extradition hearing.

Meng and Anderson’s circumstances could not be any different. But in both cases, the courts had to grapple with how to enforce an order from a foreign government whose laws are at odds with Canada’s.

Meng is wanted in the United States for, allegedly, conspiring to circumvent American sanctions against Iran. According to that allegation, a Huawei subsidiary continued carrying on business in Iran, and Meng lied about it to the British bank HSBC to continue their commercial relationship.

She was arrested at the Vancouver airport in December 2018 by the RCMP on an extradition warrant, at the behest of the Americans.

Last February, the Trudeau government issued what is known as an “authority to proceed,” which begins the legal process. Meng’s team quickly moved to have the whole process thrown out, arguing that the Attorney-General can’t pursue extradition.

Meng’s counsel contended earlier this year that the extradition order failed the test of double criminality. Extradition can only happen in cases where, if the requesting nation were the one receiving the request, it would still be legally valid.

Since Canada no longer had sanctions in place on Iran, her lawyers argued, an extradition order stemming from breaking those sanctions cannot be valid.

The Attorney-General, on the other side, argued that the authority to proceed was ordered, not due to her violating sanctions, but because she engaged in fraud by deceiving HSBC about the nature of Huawei’s business dealings in Iran. That put the bank in jeopardy of running afoul of the sanctions law themselves.

full story at https://www.nationalmagazine.ca/en-ca/articles/law/hot-topics-in-law/2020/extradition-ruling-almost-certain-to-be-challenged

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categorised in: