Meng defence argues document disclosure wouldn’t harm Canada’s national security

Meng defence argues document disclosure wouldn’t harm Canada’s national security

OTTAWA — Lawyers for a Huawei executive facing possible extradition to the United States are disputing the Canadian government’s claim that it can’t release some documents in the case because it would compromise national security.

Meng Wanzhou is wanted on fraud charges in New York, but she denies the allegations against her.

During a virtual Federal Court hearing on Monday, defence lawyer Ian Carter questioned how releasing the documents could hurt Canada’s relations with China any more than a government affidavit that is already public.

“If there is a genuine concern from the … government of Canada about damage to relations between Canada and China, one wonders why this affidavit would have been drafted and filed publicly,” Carter said.

“It is a series of propositions and allegations that paint China in a negative light.”

The affidavit by Global Affairs Canada’s director general in South Asia alleges that China regularly seeks to blame foreign governments for the consequences of its actions, he said.

Carter also said the Federal Bureau of Investigations in the United States wouldn’t expect any of its correspondences to remain confidential because it is a law enforcement agency, not an intelligence service.

Robert Frater, a lawyer representing Canada’s attorney general in the proceeding, told the judge the defence team is making “abstract” arguments because they haven’t seen the documents.

The application calls for proper arguments that can only be made in hearings closed to the public because of the sensitivity of the documents, he said.

“To discuss it in the abstract is not useful,” Frater said. “All of these issues really have to be based on the fuller context that will be provided in the closed hearings.”

The public and media have been barred from the resumption of the hearing on Thursday.

Meng is chief financial officer for the Chinese telecommunications giant and the daughter of Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengei.

She is accused of misrepresenting Huawei’s relationship with Skycom during a presentation to HSBC, putting the bank at risk of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. She has been released on bail during the proceedings and is living in one of her Vancouver houses.

Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes of the B.C. Supreme Court has already tossed out arguments that the allegations against Meng would not be considered a crime in Canada. Meng’s lawyers are now preparing to argue that her arrest and detention at Vancouver’s airport in December 2018 was unlawful.

Meng’s lawyers are seeking further documents to support their case, pointing to a memo from Canada’s spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, as evidence that there are further relevant documents that have not been disclosed.

The heavily redacted two-page memo is evidence that the intelligence service was in on a plan to delay her arrest, Meng’s lawyers allege.

But Frater told the court Monday that Meng’s lawyers have not proven that the documents they want are relevant to the case. The attorney general must be generous when it comes to disclosing documents, and it has already looked through a defence lens to consider what could be arguably relevant, he said.

“When we are asked to collect documents pursuant to a disclosure order, the Crown is obliged to cast a very broad net,” he said.

He said the Crown will argue “vigorously” against the defence allegations that Meng was subject to an abuse of process during her arrest, when the case returns in the B.C. Supreme Court.

“Just so that the record is clear, the attorney general does not accept that there was any conspiracy to deprive Ms. Meng of her rights. We do not accept that government officials failed to execute the arrest warrant properly. We do not accept that there was any violation of Ms. Meng’s rights.”

— By Amy Smart in Vancouver.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 27, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Meng extradition

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

robbery
UPDATE: Shooting suspect arrested by Wetaskiwin/Camrose RCMP

Rimbey RCMP had responded to a complaint of an armed robbery at the Bluffton City General Store

Quality Inn & Suites in Rimbey. Photo Submitted
Rimbey hotel gets new lease on life

The Quality Inn & Suites in Rimbey is now open and taking bookings

Leanne Evans, Rimbey Neighbourhood Place Program Coordinator, accepts a donation of $5,000 from Kevin Maxwell manager of Field Support for Telus. (Photo Submitted)
Rimbey Neighbourhood Place making big changes behind the scenes

Rimbey Neighbourhood Place recently recieved a $5,000 donation from Telus

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. nbsp;Alberta is reporting it's highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 364 new infections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta confirmed 323 COVID-19 cases Tuesday

Central zone active cases at 145

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, receive flu shot. Photo via Government of Alberta
COVID-19: One more death in central zone

Ponoka County on province’s watchlist

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.	Kenney is isolating at home after one of his ministers tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta premier isolating after minister tests positive for COVID-19

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is isolating at home

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Alberta's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday, July 6, 2020. Advisers are reportedly recommending Alberta's kindergarten to Grade 4 arts and social studies curriculum remove all references to residential schools because it's "too sad" for young children. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Advisers suggest Alberta students not learn about residential schools before Grade 4

Documents suggest children younger than Grade 4 are too emotionally vulnerable to learn about residential schools

File photo
RCMP’s response to online discussions about anti-racism demonstrations

Ponoka RCMP Staff Sgt.’s comments misattributed online

Shaelynn Decock and her dog Taco, who has been missing since Aug. 26. Photo Submitted
Sylvan Lake woman looking for closure for her stolen dog

Shaelynn Decock says it has been two months since she last saw her dog Taco

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau and his family decide against trick-or-treating this year due to COVID

Adhering to local health authorities, Trudeau urges Canadians to do their part in following those guidelines

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday February 4, 2020 in Ottawa. The Alberta government is welcoming news that Ottawa has approved an expansion of the Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. gathering system in Alberta — while condemning federal delays that it says cost this summer’s construction season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Alberta welcomes federal approval of gas pipeline expansion while criticizing delay

The project is expected to create up to 2,920 direct jobs during construction, the federal release said

Most Read