Lawyers for Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou have argued that Canada would be violating international law if she is sent to the United States to face charges, and they assert that she was subjected to an abuse of process and should be released.
In a notice filed with the British Columbia Supreme Court that was released on Friday, Meng’s lawyers claim Canada should not conspire with US authorities to punish a foreign national for actions that have no real connection to the US.
Meng, the chief financial officer of the Chinese technology giant, was arrested in Vancouver two years ago at the request of the US. She was accused of bank fraud, allegedly misleading British bank HSBC to break US sanctions against Iran. Meng and Huawei have denied the claims. Meng’s lawyers said given that HSBC is incorporated in the UK, Meng is a Chinese national and that the alleged misrepresentations were made in Hong Kong, there is no connection between Meng’s alleged conduct and the US.
“The extradition proceedings against her constitute an abuse of the Canadian judicial process such that the proceedings should be stayed,” the notice said.
In the latest bid to halt her extradition, Meng’s lawyers cite several experts in international law.
They argue the US has no jurisdiction to charge a Chinese national for actions occurring outside the US and involving a non-US executive of a British bank.
“There is no connection,” say the lawyers quoted by Canada’s CBC network. “None of (Meng’s) alleged conduct occurred in whole or in part in the US or had any effect there.”
The notice reads: “As customary international law is part of the law of Canada, it would be an abuse of this court’s process, compromising the integrity of the Canadian judicial system to order committal based on an extradition request that is contrary to such laws.
“If it did so, Canada would be complicit in breaching customary international law.”
Justice Rosalie Abella wrote: “Customary international law is also the law of Canada.”
Meng’s lawyers argue that the same set of internationally respected laws means “a state like the US can’t punish foreign nationals for actions that take place overseas and that have no real impact or effect within its borders”.
Agencies contributed to this story.