Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou bail hearing hears plan for electronic monitoring
VANCOUVER — The second day of the bail hearing for Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou saw a judge hear a detailed plan for electronic surveillance of the Chinese telecom executive if she is granted bail.
Questions were raised, however, about the ability of her husband, Liu Xiaozong, to act as surety to supervise her while she is on bail.
The bail hearing opened on Friday with a B.C. Supreme Court judge hearing that Meng, who was arrested at Vancouver International Airport on Dec. 1, is alleged to have violated U.S. sanctions on trade with Iran.
WATCH: Huawei CFO case strains relationship between Canada and China
On Friday, a Crown lawyer told a packed courtroom that Meng, who faces extradition to the U.S., poses a flight risk due to her wealth, lack of ties to the jurisdiction, and the fact she mainly resides in China, a country that has no extradition treaty with the U.S. or Canada.
Defence countered by saying Meng owns two properties in Vancouver and would never flee from justice as it would dishonour her family, Huawei and China itself.
On Monday, Meng’s lawyer David Martin suggested if she is granted bail, a private security firm — Lions Gate Risk Management — be given the authority to apprehend Meng if she breaches bail.
WATCH: Day two of Meng Wanzhou’s Vancouver bail hearing has been about the Chinese tech executive’s flight risk and her connections to British Columbia. Neetu Garcha has the details.
Scot Filer, executive director of Lions Gate Risk Management Group, said in the event bail was granted, Meng could be supervised by his company. His plan would include a dedicated driver and security team; an encrypted system for texting, videos, and GPS; a home security package; and a weekly itinerary provided by Meng.
Filer highlighted a proposed surveillance zone where Meng would be allowed to travel.
Technological concerns were raised when the judge asked what would happen if Meng reached a dead zone and lost cellphone service.
Filer told the court if the technology went down, his officers would have two-way radios and Meng would still be in their custody.
The Crown raised concerns about whether the encrypted network that would be used to monitor Meng could be compromised.
While the Crown asked for assurances the company could prevent her from breaching bail, Filer said there are no guarantees in this business, but he is very confident that what he has planned “will satisfy the court.”
WATCH: Attempted break-in at home owned by Huawei CFO
Stephen Tan of Recovery Science Corporation then told the court about the use of an ankle bracelet to monitor Meng.
Tan noted his company has monitored more than 500 people on bail, and that one person had fled successfully with an ankle bracelet.
Crown raised concerns that if the device is removed or tampered with, there is a one-minute delay before an alert is triggered.
Meng would cover costs associated with the comprehensive supervision plan, the court heard.
Martin concluded by saying Meng should be granted bail because it is “inconceivable” that she would flee.
Martin said Meng’s husband, Liu Xiaozong, will put up a $1-million cash deposit and two Vancouver homes — valued at $14 million — as surety.
He noted that Liu, described as a venture capitalist who can work from home, would be by his wife’s side at all times.
Justice William Ehrcke raised questions about Liu’s status in Canada.
Martin said that Liu is in Canada on a visitor’s visa that expires in February.
Ehrcke had questions about whether Liu can act as a surety against Meng fleeing, noting the surety application form states the person must be a resident of British Columbia.
Defence stated Liu can explore options regarding his status in Canada should his wife face an lengthy fight against extradition to the U.S.
Filer of Lions Gate has offered a $1,000 surety.
Crown wrapped up its argument by noting that Meng had no meaningful connection to the area.
Crown attorney John Gibb-Carsley said the family did own two Vancouver properties, but that Meng only visited the area two or three weeks every year.
Gibb-Carsley noted the risk of hackers impacting Meng’s electronic surveillance, raising the possibility, however remote, that the CFO of a global communications company has “the ability to compromise the system.”
He also noted that Lions Gate has done security monitoring but never monitored someone on bail.
He called the risk associated with the case “an inch wide but a mile deep.”
New evidence released over the weekend offers a closer look at Meng’s connection to Vancouver and her possible coming legal defence.
Global News combed through hundreds of pages of documents released this weekend, including affidavits filed by both Meng and her husband Xiaozong Liu.
The affidavits reveal the couple owns two homes in Vancouver.
The filings reveal that Meng seeks to live at her home on West 28th Avenue if granted bail, and say her husband, daughter and extended family would move to the city to live with her. They also offer the homes’ equity as collateral against bail.
The documents also hint at Meng and Huawei’s legal strategy ahead of a potential U.S. court case.
Allegations outlined during the hearing said the Chinese telecommunication giant used an unofficial subsidiary, Skycom, to conduct business in Iran in contravention of U.S. sanctions.
Crown lawyer John Gibb-Carsley said Meng deceived financial institutions by saying Skycom and Huawei were separate when they were not.
The submission highlights a specific date when the fraud is alleged to have occurred, Sept. 3, 2013, in which Meng gave a PowerPoint presentation to an unnamed financial institution.
In it, Meng is alleged to have misrepresented Huawei’s ownership and control of Skycom and its compliance with U.S. laws.
The submission further argues that even if Huawei was in violation of sanctions — which it does not concede — there is no evidence Meng was aware of it.
“The case against the applicant seems to rest wholly on her reliance on a PowerPoint presentation prepared by others,” it states.
Over the weekend, Vancouver police investigated a break-in at a home believed to be owned by Meng.
Police said the suspects fled the scene after they were confronted by someone in the home. No suspects are in custody.
Meng’s detention has also derailed B.C.’s trade mission to China.
The delegation led by B.C. Forestry Minister Doug Donaldson will no longer be stopping in China, and will instead end its trip after a visit to Japan.
None of the allegations against Meng have been proven in court.
The hearing will continue on Tuesday.
— With files from Rumina Daya, Emily Lazatin, Simon Little and The Canadian Press
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.