The Crown asked what would happen if Meng wanted to go somewhere the security team doesn’t go.
“If there was a higher risk of potential breach of condition that they weren’t satisfied they could manage, they would refuse her attending that event,” Filer replied.
“Our responsibility would be to enforce the conditions of release imposed by the court,” Filer told the judge, adding he and his staff are prepared to conduct a citizen’s arrest if necessary.
After a description of proposed travel restrictions for Meng and the security detail that would be assigned to her oversight — Lions Gate COO Doug Maynard would head up the team, with rotating pairs of security guards on eight-hour shifts, 24 hours per day — the Crown asked Filer whether his company had ever previously been involved in monitoring a person on bail.
“No,” he replied.
Following a brief recess, the court heard from Stephen Tan, co-founder and director of operations for Recovery Science Corp., a company that specializes in electronic monitoring technologies.
Recovery Science has roughly 114 monitoring cases currently active, Tan told the court. The company uses a GPS chip in concert with a SIM card to provide minute-by-minute updates on a subject of monitoring.
In Meng’s case, Tan told the court, surveillance would occur 24 hours per day and account for any curfews by creating zones of restriction during certain hours of the day.
Asked whether a subject of Recovery Science’s GPS monitoring had ever successfully fled, Tan replied, “Yes. One.”
After a discussion around the technicalities of Recovery Science’s monitoring devices, Tan noted the wearable device itself can be easily removed with scissors. This, however, would trigger an alert, he said, adding the device uses the Rogers 3G cellular network.
Rogers currently distributes Huawei products through its retail sales network in Canada and has a partnership through its media properties to “build awareness” of the Huawei brand, according to a 2017 statement on Huawei’s website. In a statement submitted to StarMetro last week, Rogers declined to comment on Meng’s arrest.
Martin, Meng’s lawyer, argued his client was a woman of character and dignity with an unblemished record and deep respect for the rule of law. If released on bail, he said, it’s “inconceivable” that she would throw away a life’s work by failing to comply with court orders.
Meng’s husband, Liu Xiaozong, has agreed to become her community surety and pledged both a large cash deposit and the two homes in his name as further surety, said Martin. But Martin admitted he was unsure of Liu’s immigration status and faced questions regarding what assurance could be given that Liu would remain by his wife’s side in Canada, as promised.
In response, Martin pointed to a detailed affidavit submitted by Liu in support of his pledge, including documentation of his passport, titles and current balance in mortgage. Liu’s passport, however, has a visa which expires on Feb. 6, 2019.
It is unclear which country issued Liu’s passport, though it was implied his current trip to Canada was undertaken on a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) passport.
Hong Kong SAR passports are issued only to permanent residents of Hong Kong, but holding such a passport does not preclude simultaneous possession of a passport from another country.
According to Martin, Liu entered Canada last week as a lawful visitor, and should be entitled to remain in the country for six months.
But the U.S. has not yet formally made an extradition request, noted the presiding judge, Justice William Ehrcke. U.S. authorities have a 60-day window to issue such a request, and could theoretically choose not to issue one at all, he said. The reality must be considered, he added, that in the event of an extradition hearing, proceedings could go on for months or even years.
Meng’s lawyer proposed several arrangements to ensure Liu could legally remain in Canada as his wife’s custodian – a primary condition for Meng’s potential release on bail, according to the judge. The offer of money as surety, Ehrcke added, is a secondary consideration.
Money can be considered expendable, the judge said.
Crown prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley took further issue with Liu’s offer to act as Meng’s surety, saying the husband has a “lack of connection to this jurisdiction.” The prosecutor pointed out Meng’s permanent resident card expired 9 years ago, while her B.C. identification card expired 12 years ago. And her defence includes no letters of reference from Canadians, he added.
This, he said, proves Meng has no meaningful connection to Canada.
The Crown emphasized Meng’s liability as a flight risk, and the judge suggested he understood that should surveillance fail, Meng was positioned to exploit that failure more successfully than the average person.
Gibb-Carsley also voiced opposition to Liu acting as surety, suggesting, “if Ms. Meng were to flee … Mr. Liu would not be left behind.” He proposed surety be changed to a split between cash – at $7.5 million – and property.
If Meng were to be allowed bail, he added, he would prefer she be on house arrest 24 hours a day, rather than under electronic monitoring in restricted geographic zones as suggested by the defence.
The allegations against Meng — that she knowingly violated U.S. sanctions and misled financial institutions — were first revealed to the public during Day 1 of her bail hearing on Friday. A warrant from the Eastern District of New York alleges Meng knew Huawei was operating a company called SkyCom to do business with Iran, which has been subject to U.S. sanctions since 1979.
The U.S. authorities claim Meng committed fraud by telling an HSBC executive her company was in compliance with U.S. sanctions against Iran limiting communication technology. U.S. authorities further argue Meng broke the law when she told the banker that Huawei and SkyCom, another telecommunications company, were separate entities.
“The allegation is SkyCom is Huawei,” said Gibb-Carsley, the Crown prosecutor, on Friday.
Martin countered, saying Huawei once owned shares in SkyCom and Meng sat on the company’s board, but the shares in the company were sold after 2009 and SkyCom became an independent contractor to Huawei.
The Crown argued Friday that Meng’s vast wealth means no surety or bail amount would deter her from fleeing to China should bail be granted. Meng’s defence argued her familial and economic ties to the city — as well as the reputation of her family — means she poses no flight risk.
Meng’s arrest sparked outrage from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, who called her detention “unreasonable, unconscionable and vile in nature” and warned of “grave consequences” if she is not released.
And while Canada is obliged to observe its long-standing extradition treaty with the U.S., it has also been looking elsewhere — including to China — to establish new trade relationships during a rocky period with its largest trading partner.
This puts Meng’s arrest in Vancouver at the heart of tensions simmering between foreign powers seeking to reorient themselves to the reality of an ascendant China.
Huawei is the largest global supplier of hardware and infrastructure for both personal mobile users and network providers. The company’s ability to underbid the competition has made them an attractive partner for governments looking to develop 5G networks — a technological initiative widely seen as the future of connectivity.
But the telecommunications giant has also been the subject of suspicion over the possibility its technology may offer a “back door” to surveillance by the Chinese government — a claim Huawei has categorically denied.
The United States, Australia and New Zealand have banned the company from participating in the construction of 5G networks because of security concerns. Washington has been increasing pressure on Canada and Britain — the other two members of the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance — to follow suit.
Huawei is currently in partnership with leading Canadian universities across the country as well as companies such as Telus, with whom it is developing interconnected 5G networks in Canada.
Meng’s bail hearing will continue Tuesday.
Follow investigative reporter Michael Mui (@mui24hours) below for live coverage of Day 2 of the bail hearing.
With files from Melanie Green
Michael Mui is a Vancouver-based investigative reporter. Follow him on Twitter: @mui24hours
Perrin Grauer is a Vancouver-based reporter covering community issues and Canada’s drug policies. Follow him on Twitter: @perringrauer
Joanna Chiu is assistant managing editor of StarMetro Vancouver. Follow her on Twitter: @joannachi