There was nothing untoward in the way Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou was treated the day she was arrested, said Crown lawyers in Vancouver Monday.
Meng was back in a Vancouver courtroom to start the week as lawyers representing the attorney general of Canada began their submissions in a battle over the disclosure of documents ahead of the Chinese tech executive’s extradition trial set for January.
Meng’s lawyers have argued that Canadian officials colluded with their U.S. counterparts, and that Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) officers and the RCMP carried out a “covert criminal investigation” against her while she was detained at Vancouver International Airport on Dec. 1, 2018.
WATCH: Court releases video, affadavits ahead of Meng Wanzhou hearing
Her legal team is seeking extensive access to materials, including emails between Canadian and U.S. law enforcement officers, which it argues will demonstrate an abuse of process.
Guards held Meng for three hours before RCMP executed a provisional arrest warrant at the request of the United States, which is trying to extradite her for allegedly violating sanctions against Iran.
On Monday, Crown lawyer Robert Frater again characterized Meng’s requests for documents as a “fishing expedition.”
Frater said Meng underwent a routine secondary screening, and the questions CBSA officers asked her, including her business dealings and residences in Vancouver, are well within the agency’s mandate.
Frater said the wait between Meng’s detention and her arrest was simply the RCMP waiting for CBSA officials to finish their job before stepping in to do their own.
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Frater added that there was nothing “covert” about how Meng was detained and questioned, noting that there were audio and video recordings of the entire interaction, which he described as “mundane.”
Crown also submitted a new piece of evidence, an email between an RCMP officer and the FBI talking about the warrant being issued and asking for a clarification on Meng’s identity and flight number. Frater said the email shows there was nothing more than routine communication going on between the two countries.
But the email drew a flurry of sharp questions from the Justice Heather Holmes, who asked why the Crown would disclose information in this manner, and added it raises questions about whether there are, in fact, more documents to disclose.
Holmes, who asked few questions during defence submissions, actively peppered Frater with queries Monday, at one point cutting him off in the middle of a rhetorical flourish and telling him she wanted to hear points of law.
Crown has argued that it went above and beyond its legal requirements in providing documents to Meng and her legal team ahead of the coming extradition trial.