The Canadian government has approved Huawei extradition proceedings, setting China in furious opposition to the move, while the same government is accused of trying to prevent a corporate case going to its own court.
Extradition to US
The Canadian government has approved extradition proceedings against the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, prompting angry reactions from China. As reported on GLP last December, Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, was detained in Vancouver and put under house arrest. In late January the US Justice Department charged Ms Meng and Huawei with conspiring to violate US sanctions on Iran. The decision has angered China and severely damaged relations, with China repeating previous demands for Ms Meng’s release. US justice department spokeswoman Nicole Navas Oxman said Washington thanked the Canadian government for its assistance, ‘we greatly appreciate Canada’s steadfast commitment to the rule of law.’ However, getting Meng to the United States may take years, since Canada’s slow-moving justice system allows many decisions to be appealed. In the meantime, experts say the Trudeau government will be hoping America reaches a deal with China.
Meanwhile, MrTrudeau has refused calls to resign over claims that government officials interfered in a corporate bribery prosecution. Reports stated Mr Trudeau or his staff pressured Canada’s former minister of justice and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to try to avoid a criminal prosecution of Quebec engineering company SNC-Lavalin over allegations of corruption involving government contracts in Libya. Mr Trudeau stated he and his staff always acted properly and that Canadians will get to have their say on the matter at the federal election in October. In testimony to the justice committee, Ms Wilson-Raybould said the pressure on her included ‘veiled threats. if she did not acquiesce. She explained, ‘I experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in my role as the attorney general of Canada in an inappropriate effort.’ Last month, the Globe and Mail reported that aides close to the prime minister had lobbied Wilson-Raybould to abandon plans to prosecute SNC Lavalin and instead pursue a ‘deferred prosecution agreement,’ which allowed the company to pay a fine. Ms Wilson-Raybould also detailed a meeting with Mr Trudeau, in which the prime minister said that, as a member of parliament from Quebec, he was concerned by the issue of SNC Lavalin jobs in the province, and asked her to ‘help out’ with the case.