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Judge rejects Meng Wanzhou’s push to add statement evidence in extradition case

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WATCH ABOVE: Meng Wanzhou defence says Donald Trump comments tainted process – Mar 3, 2021

The Canadian judge in Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s U.S. extradition case rejected her request to admit as evidence Huawei employee statements that contradict a U.S. claim she misled bankers about the company’s business in Iran, a ruling said on Friday.

But the judge provisionally allowed parts of an expert’s report that Meng’s team requested be permitted into evidence, subject to further submissions about its relevance, the ruling showed.

Read more: Crown lawyer urges judge in Meng Wanzhou case to ignore defence’s Trump argument

Meng, 49, was arrested in December 2018 at Vancouver International Airport on a U.S. warrant for allegedly misleading HBSC about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran and causing the bank to violate U.S. sanctions.

She has since been fighting the case from under house arrest in Vancouver and has said she is innocent.

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The evidence Meng’s team sought to add related to their claim that HSBC knew about Huawei’s businesses in Iran, and that Meng did not mislead the bank.

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Lawyers for Huawei executive cast doubts on who knew what, when – Mar 1, 2021

Two affidavits were from Huawei employees who attended the meeting where the United States alleges Meng lied about the company’s business connections in Iran.

Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes of British Columbia Supreme Court said that allowing this into evidence “could do no more than invite credibility findings,” turning the case into a he-said-she-said.

Holmes also rejected two more Huawei employee affidavits alleging that HSBC employees knew about Huawei’s connections to businesses in Iran, stating that they were beyond the “proper scope” of an extradition hearing.

Read more: Trump used Meng Wanzhou as ‘bargaining chip,’ lawyer says in bid to toss extradition

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“The difficulty Ms. Meng faces is that this body of evidence relates to issues properly within the domain of a trial, not the extradition hearing,” Holmes wrote.

Holmes did provisionally allow parts of a report by an expert on the application of U.S. sanctions law to financial institutions, stating it could address a potentially misleading aspect of U.S. evidence. But she said that more submissions would be necessary to prove its relevance.

Click to play video: 'Lawyers for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou are casting doubts about who knew what in her extradition case.' Lawyers for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou are casting doubts about who knew what in her extradition case.
Lawyers for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou are casting doubts about who knew what in her extradition case – Mar 1, 2021

Meng is set to appear in court on Monday as her case enters the final phase of arguments, scheduled to finish in May.

Huawei did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by Leslie Adler and Cynthia Osterman)

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