Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou bail hearing continues on Tuesday

VANCOUVER — The bail hearing for Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou continues on Tuesday.

Meng was arrested at Vancouver International Airport on Dec. 1, on allegations that she violated U.S. trade sanctions on Iran.

During the first two days of the hearing, Crown argued that Meng — who faces extradition to the U.S. — poses a flight risk because of her wealth, lack of ties to the jurisdiction, and the fact she lives primarily in China: a country without an extradition treaty with the U.S. or Canada.

Defence said Meng, in fact, owns two homes in Vancouver and would never flee justice as it would dishonour her family, Huawei, and China itself.

Meng, 46, and husband Liu Xiaozong own two properties in Vancouver, one at 4005 West 28th Avenue that was bought in 2009, and another at 1603 Matthews Street, which was bought in 2016, affidavits showed.

A security guard patrols outside a house owned by Huawei Technologies chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou and her husband, in Vancouver, on Monday, December 10, 2018.

An unidentified man stands watch outside a house owned by Huawei Technologies chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou and her husband, in Vancouver, on Monday, December 10, 2018.

On Monday, Meng’s lawyer David Martin suggested if she is granted bail, a private security firm — Lions Gate Risk Management — be given the authority to apprehend Meng if she breaches bail.

Lions Gate executive director Scot Filer said in the event bail was granted, Meng could be supervised by his company. His plan would include a dedicated driver and security team; an encrypted system for texting, videos, and GPS; a home security package; and a weekly itinerary provided by Meng.

Stephen Tan of Recovery Science Corporation then told the court about the use of an ankle bracelet to monitor Meng.

Meng would cover costs associated with the comprehensive supervision plan, the court heard.

Martin said Liu will put up a $1-million cash deposit and two Vancouver homes — valued at $14 million — as surety.

He went on to say Liu, described as a venture capitalist who can work from home, would be by his wife’s side at all times.

Justice William Ehrcke raised questions about Liu’s status in Canada.

Martin said that Liu is in Canada on a visitor’s visa that expires in February.

Ehrcke had questions about whether Liu can act as surety against Meng fleeing, noting the surety application form states the applicant must be a resident of British Columbia.

Defence stated Liu can​ explore options regarding his status in Canada should his wife face an lengthy fight against extradition to the U.S.

Filer of Lions Gate has offered a $1,000 surety.

Crown attorney John Gibb-Carsley said the family did own two Vancouver properties, but Meng only visited the area two or three weeks every year.

Gibb-Carsley noted the risk of hackers impacting Meng’s electronic surveillance, raising the possibility, however remote, that the CFO of a global communications company has “the ability to compromise the system.”

He also noted that Lions Gate has done security monitoring, but never monitored someone on bail. He called the risk associated with the case “an inch wide but a mile deep.”

Evidence released over the weekend offers a closer look at Meng’s connection to Vancouver and her possible coming legal defence.

Global News combed through hundreds of pages of documents released this weekend, including affidavits filed by both Meng and her husband Xiaozong Liu.

The affidavits reveal the couple owns two homes in Vancouver.

The filings reveal that Meng seeks to live at her home on West 28th Avenue if granted bail, and say her husband, daughter and extended family would move to the city to live with her. They also offer the homes’ equity as collateral against bail.

The documents also hint at Meng and Huawei’s legal strategy ahead of a potential U.S. court case.

Allegations outlined during the hearing said the Chinese telecommunication giant used an unofficial subsidiary, Skycom, to conduct business in Iran in contravention of U.S. sanctions.

Crown lawyer John Gibb-Carsley said Meng deceived financial institutions by saying Skycom and Huawei were separate, when they were not.

The submission highlights a specific date when the fraud is alleged to have occurred: Sept. 3, 2013, in which Meng gave a PowerPoint presentation to an unnamed financial institution.

In it, Meng is alleged to have misrepresented Huawei’s ownership and control of Skycom and its compliance with U.S. laws.

The submission further argues that even if Huawei was in violation of sanctions — which it does not concede — there is no evidence Meng was aware of it.

“The case against the applicant seems to rest wholly on her reliance on a PowerPoint presentation prepared by others,” it states.

Michael Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat, has been detained in China, two sources told Reuters on Tuesday, and his current employer, the International Crisis Group, said it was seeking his prompt and safe release.

It was not immediately clear if the cases were related, but Meng’s arrest has stoked fears of reprisals against the foreign business community in China.

None of the allegations against Meng have been proven in court.

— With files from Rumina Daya, Emily Lazatin, Simon Little, Jesse Ferreras, Global News, along with Reuters and The Canadian Press

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