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B.C. actor says she was tricked into holding protest sign outside Huawei extradition trial

People hold signs outside an extradition trial hearing at the B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Monday. .
People hold signs outside an extradition trial hearing at the B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Monday. . Global News

A Vancouver actor says she was tricked into holding a protest sign outside the court where Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s extradition hearing is underway.

Thirty-two-year-old Julia Hackstaff says an acquaintance reached out to her on Facebook offering $100 for a two-hour acting job.

READ MORE: ‘Lying to a bank is fraud’: Crown lawyers begin arguments in Huawei exec’s extradition trial

Hackstaff says she arrived at the given address Monday morning, then was sent to the British Columbia Supreme Court where she was told to hold a sign in support of Meng.

Defence lays out case at Meng Wanzhou extradition hearing
Defence lays out case at Meng Wanzhou extradition hearing

She says she thought it was a poorly organized production until a reporter started asking her pointed questions and she realized she wasn’t dealing with another actor.

READ MORE: Defence wraps arguments in first phase of Huawei exec’s Vancouver extradition trial

It’s unclear who was behind the protest-for-hire and Hackstaff says she left right away without being paid and believes the acquaintance who contacted her was also a victim of the scam.

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Benjamin Howes, a spokesman in Huawei’s international media affairs department, says in an email the company had no involvement with the protesters or supporters outside the courthouse.