Newly revealed documents could prove Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s innocence
Monday, 20 January 2020
Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou arrives to the court in Vancouver. Credit: Belga
A Canadian court has begun hearing the case of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s fight against extradition to the United States.
Meng Wanzhou, 47, arrived on Monday at a Vancouver courthouse for the first of several scheduled hearings which will run until end of the week.
The executive has been accused of hiding information from HSBC about the tech giant’s business dealings in Iran. The US has consequently demanded her extradition in what they claim was a violation of US sanctions against Iran.
However, last week, newly revealed documents suggest that HSBC did in fact know about the existence of Skycom Tech at the time of Sabrina Meng’s presentation to the bank in 2013.
Furthermore, at the time of the allegations back in 2013, the embargo policies in place in the US against Iran were not in place in Canada.
Ms. Meng, who was arrested in late 2018 in Canada, maintains her innocence and denies any wrongdoing. Ms. Meng is the chief financial officer of Huawei and has been out on bail but under house arrest in Vancouver since shortly after she was detained in December 2018.
The whole case hinges on allegations that Ms. Meng made a misleading presentation to HSBC in 2013 which did not properly declare the technology giant’s business ties in Iran. However, the documents, which have been shared with South China Morning Post, suggest that the bank was indeed aware of Huawei’s business relationships in the Middle Eastern country for years earlier.
The documents, which are dated as early as 2010, clearly show communication between HSBC staff and Huawei employees about the bank accounts of Skycom Tech. Meng made her presentation to the bank in August 2013.
The existence of the documents has significant implications in the case and could prove that Ms. Meng did not mislead HSBC about Huawei’s financial connections with Skycom, and consequently its business ties in Iran.