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Judge denies media consortium’s request to broadcast Huawei CFO extradition hearing

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who is out on bail and remains under partial house arrest after she was detained last year at the behest of American authorities, carries an umbrella to shield herself from rain as she leaves her home to attend a court hearing, in Vancouver on Thursday October 3, 2019.
Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who is out on bail and remains under partial house arrest after she was detained last year at the behest of American authorities, carries an umbrella to shield herself from rain as she leaves her home to attend a court hearing, in Vancouver on Thursday October 3, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A senior judge with the British Columbia Supreme Court has denied a media request to broadcast the extradition hearing of a Huawei executive wanted in the United States on fraud charges.

A consortium of 13 Canadian and international media outlets, including The Canadian Press, applied to use two discrete cameras to record portions of Meng Wanzhou’s extradition hearing next week.

READ MORE: Crown says Meng Wanzhou’s alleged actions would be crime in Canada

The media’s lawyer Daniel Coles argued that there is significant public interest in the case and that broadcasting proceedings would engage with the very meaning of open and accessible justice in the modern era.

The case has fractured Canada-China relations and Meng, who denies the allegations, is living in one of her Vancouver homes after being freed on bail.

READ MORE: Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou wins battle over documents ahead of extradition trial

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China’s ambassador to Canada reiterates call for Meng Wanzhou’s release
China’s ambassador to Canada reiterates call for Meng Wanzhou’s release

Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes says in her ruling that she agrees with lawyers for Meng and Canada’s attorney general that it could compromise the woman’s right to a fair trial in the United States, should she be extradited.

In a written decision released Monday, Holmes says broadcasting portions of the trial would put that right “at serious risk by potentially tainting trial witness testimony and the juror pool.”

READ MORE: As Meng’s extradition hearing looms, Canada-China relations hang in the balance

“Broadcasts would almost inevitably reach the community of the trial, given the high profile of this case in Canada and abroad, the political commentary relating to the case, and the sensationalized nature of some of the media coverage,” she says in the ruling.

Canada should listen to intelligence community when deciding on Huawei
Canada should listen to intelligence community when deciding on Huawei