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Huawei CFO Raises New Argument in Court

Huawei Chief Financial Officer, Meng Wanzhou, has raised new arguments defending herself in a Canadian court. This was in a bid to fight extradition to the United States on bank fraud charges, court documents showed.

This case, which the U.S. has submitted to Canada, is reportedly replete with intentional and reckless error. Due to this, Meng’s lawyers claim that it violates her rights.

Meng, 48, was detained in Vancouver on Dec.1st, 2018, at the request of the United States. They charged her with bank fraud and accused her of misleading HSBC Holdings Plc about Huawei Technologies’ business in Iran.

Meng is the daughter of billionaire Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei. She claims she is innocent and is fighting the extradition.

Stock market news reported the arrest has strained China’s relations with both the U.S. and Canada.

Meng’s PowerPoint Presentation 

Meng has given a PowerPoint presentation to an HSBC banker in Hong Kong in 2013. They have cited this as key evidence against her.

In that presentation, Meng said that Skycom Tech Co Ltd, which operated in Iran, was “a business partner of Huawei”. The U.S. has described it as an unofficial subsidiary.

Meng’s lawyers argued the prosecutors omitted key disclosures that Meng presented in the PowerPoint regarding Huawei’s business operations in Iran. Furthermore, Skycom worked with Huawei in sales and service there.

The lawyers said the U.S. summary of the PowerPoint was materially misleading without those disclosures.

The case said only “junior” HSBC employees knew of the relationship between Huawei and Skycom, Meng’s lawyers also pointed out. Meng’s lawyers said it is unlikely that HSBC senior management was unaware of the relationship. That is quite likely, as Huawei was one of HSBC’s biggest clients.

The lawyers said that a $900M credit facility that the U.S. said HSBC had extended to Huawei didn’t exist. Rather, Huawei was in a $1.6 billion credit arrangement with 26 banks. And they argued HSBC’s total contribution was down to $80 million.

Moreover, the lawyers said, the credit facility was never drawn on by Huawei and was canceled in June 2017.

Assistant Chief Justice, Heather Holmes of British Columbia Supreme Court, wanted to be fully apprised of the U.S. case. That was before turning to Meng’s claims that her rights were in violation when they arrested her.

HSBC spokesman Rob Sherman said they are not a party to this case. So it is not appropriate for them to comment on any particular evidence.

Stocks news reported that, last month, a Canadian judge allowed the extradition case to continue. He rejected the defense arguments that these charges filed against Meng do not constitute crimes in Canada.

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