VANCOUVER – A judicial hearing in the extradition case of Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ended on Wednesday, and British Columbia’s associate chief justice Heather Holmes said she would announce the date of her decision on October 21.
Meng, 49, was detained at Vancouver International Airport on a US warrant in December 2018 on charges of bank fraud for allegedly misleading HSBC Holdings about Huawei’s business deals in Iran. China detained two Canadians shortly after, this month one sentenced to 11 years in prison for espionage, widely seen as retaliation. Beijing has denied any connection between the arrest and Meng’s case.
Here’s an explanation of what might happen next in the process.
What is the judge considering?
Extradition hearings usually take place in a single day, but Meng’s trial has been going on for many years.
The first thing Holmes had to decide was whether Meng’s case met the double criminality standard, meaning whether his alleged crime would be considered illegal in Canada. Holmes decided in May 2020 that he had done so and proceeded with the matter.
Holmes is now deciding whether the abuse of process alleged by Meng’s defense team is enough to stall the extradition. They are divided into four “branches”:
1) Former US President Donald Trump allegedly politicized the case against Meng, which the defense says has ensured that he will not receive a fair trial in the United States;
2) Mistakes by Canadian and US authorities during Meng’s initial arrest;
3) The allegation that the United States misled Canada in the evidence it provided underpinning the case against Meng.
Meng’s defense team has argued that they should be taken as a pattern of abuse and are sufficient to hold extradition. Prosecutors representing the Canadian government have said they are either not doing enough to prevent extradition or are cases in US courts.
What decisions can the judge make and what happens next?
The bar for extradition is lower than for a trial. As a Canadian judge, Holmes is not qualified to rule whether that person is guilty or innocent based on the laws of another country, so all he has to do is decide whether the evidence against Meng is in Canada. will allow the trial to proceed.
If Holmes rules in favor of extradition, the matter goes to Canada’s Minister of Justice for final approval.
If she rules to stay in extradition, the process probably stops there. It is rare for the Canadian government to appeal a court decision against extradition.
A moratorium on extradition would be politically expedient for the Canadian government, which has been thrown into the middle of a fight between the United States and China over the case. Meng’s release could also prompt Beijing to release two Canadians detained after his arrest.
If the judges rule in favor of extradition, what happens next?
Canada’s Minister of Justice makes the final decision on whether to surrender the person to extradition.
Meng can appeal the judge’s decision and demand a judicial review of the minister’s decision. Such appeals can take years to work their way through the courts and potentially end up in the Supreme Court of Canada. During that time, she will probably push for a re-evaluation of her bail conditions.
Her bail conditions mean she can leave her home under observation but will have to stay at home at night.
by Moira Warburton
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times