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Canada asks court to block disclosure of national security secrets in Meng Wanzhou extradition

Click to play video: 'Champagne says release of Michael Kovrig, Michael Spavor should ‘not be linked’ to Meng Wanzhou detainment' Champagne says release of Michael Kovrig, Michael Spavor should ‘not be linked’ to Meng Wanzhou detainment
WATCH: After new charges were laid against Huawei and its CFO, Meng Wanzhou, by the U.S., Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne said on Friday that the current detainment by China of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor should "not be linked to anything," saying their detainment should have "nothing to do with these issues." – Feb 14, 2020

Canadian officials have launched a court action to prevent the disclosure of what they describe as “sensitive information” in the Meng Wanzhou extradition case.

In a Federal Court application, the officials argued that a document they were ordered to hand to the Chinese executive’s legal team “would injure national security” if it were disclosed.

The case was filed by the Department of Justice’s National Security Group and asks for an order prohibiting disclosure of the document.

READ MORE: Internal Huawei documents show company shipped U.S. sanctioned items to Iran

No further details have been publicly revealed. The Canada Evidence Act allows the government to withhold some materials from court proceedings on national security grounds.

A hearing on the matter was held on Tuesday. It returns to court on May 19.

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A senior Huawei executive, Meng was arrested at Vancouver airport on Dec. 1, 2018 for extradition to the United States, where she faces a fraud trial for allegedly violating sanctions against Iran.

Click to play video: 'Huawei, Meng Wanzhou hit with new racketeering, corporate espionage charges in U.S.' Huawei, Meng Wanzhou hit with new racketeering, corporate espionage charges in U.S.
Huawei, Meng Wanzhou hit with new racketeering, corporate espionage charges in U.S – Feb 13, 2020

The arrest has angered China, which subsequently arrested two Canadians in what has been widely interpreted as an act of retaliation.

While China is pressuring Ottawa to drop the case, Meng’s lawyers are trying to have it thrown out as an abuse of process.

On Dec. 9, a B.C. judge ordered Canada to release additional documents to Meng’s team “to support her application for abuse of process,” according to the application.

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

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But the application claims that one of those documents contains “sensitive information that would injure national security if disclosed.”

Meng was released on bail and is living in a luxury Vancouver home while her extradition is before the court.

The two Canadians taken into custody by China days after Meng’s arrest, Michael Kovrig of the International Crisis Group and entrepreneur Michael Spavor, are being arbitrarily detained, Canada claims.

Stewart.Bell@globalnews.ca

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