Canadian prosecutors told a Canadian court that China’s Huawei Technologies had a plane waiting to whisk away the company’s Chief Financial Officer, Meng Wanzhou, back to China from Vancouver, even as a key verdict in her extradition case was to be handed down in May 2020.
Meng, 48, has been fighting extradition from Canada to the United States following her arrest at Vancouver International Airport two years ago. She has been charged with bank fraud for allegedly misleading HSBC on Huawei’s business dealings in Iran, causing the bank to break U.S. sanctions.
In May 2020, a Canadian judge had sided with prosecutors from the Canadian government on a key component of the case, thus allowing her extradition hearing to continue. That ruling supported the prosecutors’ case that Meng’s alleged actions were illegal in both Canada and the United States and therefore met the standard of double criminality.
Before the announcement of the ruling, Huawei had chartered a 777 Boeing from China Southern Airlines which was ready to whisk away Meng back to China should the decision on double criminality come down in her favour, said prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley during a bail variation application hearing on Tuesday.
This detail was revealed during Gibb Carsley’s cross-examination of Meng’s husband, Liu Xiaozong, with Huawei lawyers seeking to loosen her bail conditions and drop the security detail that monitors her constantly.
“Are you aware … there were arrangements made to take your wife, Ms. Meng, back to China if she was successful in a court decision?” asked Gibb-Carsley.
Liu said he was.
“Are you aware that members of the Chinese consulate were also involved in making arrangements for that flight being chartered?” asked Gibb-Carsley.
“I don’t know,” Liu said. Meng’s bail hearing is scheduled to finish later today. Arguments in her case are set to wrap up in May.