The formal extradition hearing for the Huawei executive accused of fraud in the United States is expected to start today in British Columbia Supreme Court with government lawyers making the case for why Meng Wanzhou should be extradited to face charges.
Her long-awaited extradition hearing is proceeding as courts in China prosecute Canadians whose sentencing or detentions are widely been seen as retaliation for her 2018 arrest.
A Chinese court upheld a death sentence on Tuesday for Canadian Robert Schellenberg, whose original 15-year sentence for smuggling drugs was increased to the death penalty just a month after Meng was arrested.
Entrepreneur Michael Spavor was found guilty of espionage and sentenced to 11 years, following a short hearing that was held behind closed doors in March.
Meng, who is Huawei’s chief financial officer and daughter of the Chinese telecom giant’s founder, denies allegations that she put HSBC at risk of breaking U.S. sanctions against Iran.
The Vancouver court has heard extensive arguments from Meng’s legal team seeking her release on grounds that she suffered more than 30 abuses of process, including political interference by then-U.S. president Donald Trump, although the Crown has denied any misconduct occurred.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 11, 2021.