Meng Wanzhou expected in B.C. Supreme Court to make changes to bail order


Vancouver—Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is expected to appear at B.C. Supreme Court at 9:45 a.m. Pacific Time Tuesday to make changes to her bail order.

Meng, who was arrested on Dec. 1 at the request of the United States, was granted $10 million bail on Dec. 11.

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, right, arrives at a parole office with a member of her private security detail in Vancouver, on Wednesday December 12. She is expected in court this morning to make a change to one of the people acting as sureties for her $10 million bail.
Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, right, arrives at a parole office with a member of her private security detail in Vancouver, on Wednesday December 12. She is expected in court this morning to make a change to one of the people acting as sureties for her $10 million bail.  (DARRYL DYCK / The Canadian Press)

In a statement, the Canadian Department of Justice said on Tuesday Meng is seeking to change the name of one of the people named as a surety in her bail order.

“The British Columbia Supreme Court will decide whether or not to consider and accept a substitute surety for Ms. Meng,” said Ian McLeod, with the DOJ.

“The Crown agrees/agreed to this application, and it was anticipated at the time of the original bail order for Ms. Meng.”

Read more:

China reacts with warnings to Canada and U.S. to drop charges, Meng extradition

Chinese state media coverage of John McCallum’s dismissal shows former ambassador was viewed as an ally, says expert

U.S. unveils 23 criminal charges against China’s Huawei as Ottawa fights to free two Canadians detained by Beijing in retaliation

Previously, five parties had been named as surety, including a realtor who put up his own home, worth $1.8 million, two former employees of Huawei and their family members, a neighbour, Scot Filer, CEO of Lions Gate Risk Management — the group responsible for making sure she sticks to bail conditions, in addition to cash put up by her husband, Liu Xiaozong.

It’s unclear which party the Tuesday bail order change application involves.

More to come


Source link

قالب وردپرس

Ambassador John McCallum says it would be ‘great for Canada’ if U.S. drops extradition request for Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou


VANCOUVER—After his earlier comments on Meng Wanzhou drew calls for his firing, Canada’s ambassador to China is now arguing it would be “great” if the United States relinquishes its attempt to extradite Huawei’s chief financial officer.

“From Canada’s point of view, if (the U.S.) drops the extradition request, that would be great for Canada,” John McCallum told the Star on Friday.

Canadian Ambassador to China John McCallum said it “would be great for Canada” if the U.S. dropped it’s extradition request from Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.
Canadian Ambassador to China John McCallum said it “would be great for Canada” if the U.S. dropped it’s extradition request from Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.  (Paul Chiasson / THE CANADIAN PRESS file photo)

The Star’s reporter, speaking to McCallum at a charity lunch in downtown Vancouver, identified herself as a journalist at the beginning of the conversation and held out a recorder while they spoke.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday he is standing by the ambassador, in spite of Conservative calls for McCallum to be fired for saying Huawei’s Meng has “strong arguments” to fight extradition to the United States.

In a series of surprisingly frank comments earlier this week, McCallum also revealed new details about the strain on Canada-China relations and the pressure Canada faces from allies to ban Huawei.

He told the Star on Friday that if the U.S. strikes a deal with China, it should benefit Canada.

“We have to make sure that if the U.S. does such a deal, it also includes the release of our two people. And the U.S. is highly aware of that,” he said.

The Prime Minister’s Office did not reply to Star requests for comment.

Roland Paris, former senior adviser to Trudeau on global affairs, told the Star that Canadians should not be used as “bargaining chips.”

“I don’t have a comment on that scenario,” he said when asked for his thoughts on McCallum’s most recent comments.

Canada's ambassador to China, John McCallum, front centre, poses for photo with former B.C. premier Christy Clark, front left, at a dim sum charity luncheon in downtown Vancouver on Friday.
Canada’s ambassador to China, John McCallum, front centre, poses for photo with former B.C. premier Christy Clark, front left, at a dim sum charity luncheon in downtown Vancouver on Friday.  (Joanna Chiu/StarMetro)

“I think though that it remains really important for Canada, it is very important for Canada to build international support,” he said.

“The Chinese should not be holding any Canadians for diplomatic leverage, if that’s indeed what they’re doing. And the United States should be backing Canada, should have Canada’s back because we are paying a price for fulfilling the terms of our extradition treaty.”

Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor remain in custody at undisclosed locations in China. Kovrig is being kept in a continuously lit room and is being questioned several times daily by Chinese authorities, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG), Kovrig’s former employer.

The ambassador stressed to the Star Friday that his “priority is to see our two detainees” after he returns to China on Saturday.

McCallum told the Star he is allowed to visit Kovrig and Spavor once a month.

“Physically he’s fine, by looking at him,” McCallum said about Kovrig. He added both men are able to exercise and practice yoga regularly.

Joanna Chiu is assistant managing editor of StarMetro Vancouver. Follow her on Twitter: @joannachiu

Wanyee Li is a Vancouver-based reporter covering courts, wildlife conservation and new technology. Follow her on Twitter: @wanyeelii

Michael Mui is a Vancouver-based investigative reporter. Follow him on Twitter: @mui24hours


Source link

قالب وردپرس

Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou has an extra passport that wasn’t listed in court records — and it’s only available to China’s elite


VANCOUVER—The U.S. government’s hunch that Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou had passports beyond the seven it listed to oppose her release on bail appears to be true.

What it actually means is unclear, as no one would say whether she handed over the special Chinese passport over, let alone whether it could be used to leave the country.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou talks to a member of her private security detail in Vancouver on Dec. 12, 2018.
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou talks to a member of her private security detail in Vancouver on Dec. 12, 2018.  (DARRYL DYCK / The Canadian Press)

The Hong Kong Companies Registry has confirmed to StarMetro that Meng has a special public affairs passport issued by the Chinese government. It was not included in a December court submission by U.S. federal attorney Richard Donoghue, who warned that it was “entirely possible” she had more than the seven passports she had previously used to travel to the U.S.

When asked if the passport was still valid, Hong Kong’s Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau said companies are required by law to keep an index with identity information of its directors and that the information must be up to date.

“There are statutory requirements that if there is any change in the particulars mentioned, the company must, within 15 days of the change, deliver to the Registrar for registration a notice in the specified form to report such change,” the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau said in an email.

It’s unclear if Meng surrendered the public affairs passport — issued only to China’s elite business and government officials — as part of her bail conditions, because documents released to StarMetro have been heavily redacted. Government and court officials on both sides of the border have either not responded to or declined multiple requests for interviews related to Meng’s travel documents.

Read more:

U.S. Department of Justice says it will proceed with request to extradite Meng Wanzhou

China tells U.S. to back off Meng extradition demand and warns of ‘further response’

Former ambassadors and academics urge China’s president to release Canadian men

The Canadian Department of Justice said any passports held by Meng must be handed over to the RCMP, but declined to comment on whether this particular passport was among those surrendered. The RCMP also declined to comment, citing the case as an ongoing investigation.

“The bail order issued by the BC Supreme Court specifies that Ms. Meng must surrender any and all passports and travel documents to the RCMP. For privacy reasons, we cannot specify the numbers of the passports that were surrendered,” said Ian McLeod, a spokesman with the Canadian Department of Justice.

The public affairs passport has the letter P before its numbers — setting it apart from all passport numbers that have been linked to Meng and made public.

As part of her bail conditions, Meng Wanzhou is living in this Vancouver house and must be monitred 24/7 by an ankle bracelet and a private security detail.
As part of her bail conditions, Meng Wanzhou is living in this Vancouver house and must be monitred 24/7 by an ankle bracelet and a private security detail.  (Jesse Winter/StarMetro Vancouver)

Former Canadian ambassador to China Guy Saint-Jacques said holding one of these passports is a sign of prestige in the country.

Among other things, “it means you can use special lanes at the airport,” Saint-Jacques said.

“When we received requests of Chinese delegations coming to Canada, I would ask how come they have such a passport and not a regular passport? I think it’s part of these shenanigans and the way the China government works and the connections one has,” he added.

Meng’s numerous passports played a key role in the lengthy bail hearing that followed her Dec. 1 arrest at the Vancouver airport.

Both the Attorney General of Canada and the U.S. government, in opposing her release while awaiting extradition, cited the risk she could use her wealth, resources and multiple passports to flee the country. Crown prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley had described her flight risk as “unmanageable.”

Judge William Ehrcke granted Meng’s bail release with multiple conditions, including that she surrender all of her passports.

He concluded, after verbal arguments in the courtroom, that only two of Meng’s passports were valid for travel at that time.

With files from Joanna Chiu

Michael Mui is a Vancouver-based investigative reporter. Follow him on Twitter: @mui24hours


Source link

قالب وردپرس

EXCLUSIVE: China, Meng Wanzhou and Canada — how Huawei CFO’s arrest is playing out behind the scenes


Ever since Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou landed at Vancouver’s YVR airport at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 1 to catch a connecting flight to Mexico, Canada has been placed in the middle of a battle between the world’s two greatest powers.

Meng, 46, is at the centre of allegations that Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications giant linked to China’s People’s Liberation Army, has used a Hong Kong shell company known as Skycom to do business with Iran, defying U.S. sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Huawei denies the allegations.

The United States alleges Meng has been avoiding travel to the country ever since she learned of investigations into her business dealings. But when Meng landed in Vancouver and tried to pass Canadian customs on Dec. 1, she was flagged for detention and arrested by the RCMP, as the U.S. had filed proceedings for an extradition request with Canada.

Now, a high-stakes game of politics, espionage and covert surveillance operations is playing out in Vancouver, where Meng, one of China’s most powerful executives, was released on bail after a three-day hearing that was followed by media outlets worldwide.

READ MORE: Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou granted bail, will live in Vancouver under electronic surveillance

Sources in law enforcement and government provided accounts of the unfolding events in British Columbia, a case that experts say has triggered a serious international crisis for Canada.

Already, China has apparently retaliated for Meng’s arrest by detaining two Canadians on national security charges, former Canadian ambassadors to China and CSIS employees say. And China has promised further revenge.

However, Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland told reporters Friday that China has drawn no connection between the arrests and the extradition of Meng.

WATCH: Who is Michael Spavor, the second Canadian to go missing in China?

Sources in this story could not be identified because of the sensitive nature of the information they provided.

At 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, while media outlets from around the world prepared to attend a Vancouver court hearing that would decide where Meng should stay during the pending extradition hearing — in one of her two luxurious homes in Vancouver or in jail — some elite RCMP officers already believed they had the answer.

A source told Global News the officers were saying Meng would be released later that day. They were right: Tuesday afternoon, Justice William Ehrcke released Meng on a $10-million security. Later that night, as media cameras crowded around, Meng was escorted in a protective embrace to a black Cadillac Escalade SUV by Scot Filer, a respected former RCMP geographic profiler with business experience in China, and the CEO of Lions Gate Risk Management, the private firm handling Meng’s security while she’s out on bail.

A vehicle is seen outside of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s home in Vancouver on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward


A source said that while some of Canada’s business leaders have suggested the country was wrong to arrest Meng because of the political and economic consequences as well as the damage China has promised to inflict, it was never an option to let her continue on her travels to Mexico, where she reportedly planned to conduct business for Huawei.

‘China will take revenge’ if Canada doesn’t free Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou: Global Times editor

Extradition requests from the United States are a standard, daily occurrence to be handled by Department of Justice Canada officials, a law enforcement source familiar with the Meng case and the general process said. As long as the evidence and allegations filed by an extradition treaty partner are in order, a suspect will be detained and enter the hearing process, and there will never be political interference, the source said.

Meng has two Vancouver homes worth $22 million in total. Now that she is living in one of the homes, RCMP officers are conducting covert surveillance operations in the area at night, a source said. This is to make sure that Meng doesn’t attempt to flee Canada and to monitor whether Chinese state agents attempt to contact her, according to a source.

At this time, since Meng has few friends in Vancouver; it is only neighbours attending her home, a source said.

Agents of China’s powerful Ministry of State Security, which protects China’s national interests and conducts intelligence operations in foreign lands, are also believed to be covertly monitoring Meng, a source said. And while crowds of Meng’s supporters protested for her release this week outside a downtown Vancouver court, MSS agents were also believed to be monitoring the events.

“Absolutely, the MSS are here (watching Meng) in Vancouver,” one source said.

Supporters hold signs and a Chinese flag outside B.C. Supreme Court during the third day of a bail hearing for Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck


The RCMP did not directly answer questions for this story nor deny information provided to Global News.

In a statement, the RCMP said: “Under the terms of a consular agreement between Canada and the People’s Republic of China, the RCMP contacted Chinese consulates in Vancouver and Ottawa within hours of the arrest.”

Trudeau’s justice minister will make final call on Meng Wanzhou extradition — if court approves it

Stephanie Carvin, a Carleton University professor and former strategic analyst for CSIS who was not involved in tactical operations, said China has “robust” global spy networks, and it would make sense for MSS agents in British Columbia to be conducting operations to protect China’s national interests.

“Huawei is not a normal company in any sense,” Carvin said. “It is wrapped up in Chinese nationality and represents (Chinese President) Xi Jinping’s interests as a national champion company. It doesn’t surprise me the Chinese state is taking a huge interest (in Meng’s case in British Columbia) and retaliating with these two kidnappings of Canadians in China.”

Carvin said that while the RCMP is not usually the lead agency in Canada’s counter-intelligence operations, it would make sense that the RCMP “wants to keep track of who is coming and going from Meng’s residence.”

WATCH: Supporters of Huawei and Meng Wanzhou protest for her release outside a Vancouver court house.

Meanwhile, according to B.C. political sources, there was high-level interest within the provincial government about Meng’s detention conditions.

State media in China have charged that Meng’s arrest was an affront to her dignity and human rights. In an editorial titled “Canada’s treatment of Meng Wanzhou in violation of human rights,” the Global Times claimed that Meng was “immediately handcuffed at the airport and taken to a detention facility…subjected to rude and degrading treatment…put into restraining devices used on felons.”

A source claimed that while Meng’s initial detention and bail proceedings played out, B.C. Premier John Horgan’s chief of staff Geoff Meggs allegedly took an interest in where and how Meng was detained. The source said Meggs reportedly had a call made to the office of B.C. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth “expressing concern that they could not hold Meng in a Canada Border Services facility…(and saying Farnworth) needs to make sure she is extended courtesies.”

Meng was detained before her release at B.C.’s Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in Maple Ridge. The CBSA did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the case.

The reported contact from the premier’s office to Farnworth was seen as “odd,” according to a source with knowledge of the case.

WATCH : Ralph Goodale says rumoured ban on Huawei is ‘speculation’

Meggs was not available for an interview. However, in response to requests for comment from Global News, a spokeswoman from the premier’s office said it was “our communications director (that) made an informational request about what had been reported in media about Ms. Meng.”

In an emailed response, a spokeswoman for Farnworth said: “The premier’s communications director contacted the solicitor general’s office to simply gain clarity on what was being reported on this investigation. This is standard procedure. This was a request for information only — there was no request for any change in circumstances.”

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of China’s detention of former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor, a source with knowledge of Canadian relations with China said that Canada should expect China to carry out threats of revenge. It has been reported that China’s MSS is handling the cases of both Kovrig and Spavor.

“The Chinese don’t just say threats,” a source said. “This would be all planned out from Beijing beforehand. If they say they will do something, they are going to do it.”

Canada is currently considering whether to take further action, such as issuing travel advisories for China, a source said. A B.C. trade mission to China has already been cancelled, and on Friday, federal Tourism Minister Melanie Joly reversed her position from Thursday, deciding to postpone a trip to China.

The situation is so volatile, a source said, that the RCMP is also considering cancelling an international police training mission to China’s mainland that is scheduled for early 2019.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


Source link

قالب وردپرس

Meng Wanzhou is out on bail — but could be in legal limbo for years


Meng Wanzhou says she hasn’t read a novel in 25 years.

As the lawyer for Huawei’s chief financial officer told B.C. Supreme Court Justice William Ehrcke Tuesday, the 46-year-old has been too busy raising a family and helping her father grow his company into a global telecommunications giant.

Defence lawyer David Martin said his client practically welcomes the constraints Ehrcke considered before granting her $10 million bail under strict supervision: more time to spend with her daughter, to catch up on her love of literature — and who knows, maybe even to consider getting her PhD?

Meng, who was arrested in Vancouver at the request of U.S. officials, is accused of violating international sanctions against Iran through a « hidden » Huawei subsidiary called Skycom.

U.S. prosecutors claim she put American banks in legal jeopardy by lying about the relationship between the companies, inducing them into « carrying out transactions that they otherwise would not have contemplated. »

Meng Wanzhou left B.C. Supreme Court in downtown Vancouver around 8 p.m. local time, nearly five hours after the judge delivered his decision. (CBC)

The U.S. wants to see her extradited.

But if the legal precedents Ehrcke considered in granting Meng her freedom are anything to go by, she may have time to finish War and Peace, Anna Karenina and the complete works of Marcel Proust before her extradition odyssey is done.

« This has been an unusual case, » the judge said as he wrapped up the day, which drew crowds so large the sheriff had to set up televisions in the lobby. 

The proceedings spoke to a number of Vancouver stereotypes: a part-time yoga instructor, a real estate agent, an insurance salesperson and a homemaker all came together as last minute sureties to guarantee the freedom of a woman whose father with an estimated worth of $3.2 billion US.

And all of this on a day with torrential rain.

Left holding the bag

In considering bail, Ehrcke had to balance Meng’s risk of flight against the guarantees of friends who put their own property on the line as sureties.

He considered the examples of Rakesh Saxena and Lai Changxing, two men who fought long battles against extradition.

It took 13 years before Saxena was deported to Thailand, where he was jailed for fraud.

And Lai — once considered one of China’s most wanted men — fought deportation for more than a decade before being sent back to face charges of bribery and theft.

Both men lived under house arrest and were eventually freed pending the resolution of their cases. Saxena was placed under house arrest again after violating the conditions of his release.

Lai Changxing fought deportation from Canada for years. His case was one of the examples the judge considered in granting bail to Meng. (Chuck Stoody/Canadian Press)

Ehrcke also considered the case of Michael Wilson, an accused fraudster, who — like Meng — was wanted for extradition to the U.S. and who — also like Meng — had multiple sureties step forward.

But Wilson fled to Vietnam with two of those guarantors in a bid to escape justice, leaving the other two holding the bag.

Wilson’s actions cost one of them $200,000. The friends who stepped forward for the Huawei CFO could be on the hook for as much as $3 million if she flees.

‘Myriad’ reasons to avoid the U.S.

Meng was arrested just over a week ago on a provisional arrest warrant as she passed through Vancouver International Airport en route to Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina and France.

Prosecutors claim the fact she hasn’t stepped foot in the United States since 2017 is proof she’s avoiding possible arrest in that country.

But Ehrcke rejected that argument, pointing out that people have « myriad » reasons for avoiding the United States in the past two years.

U.S. President Donald Trump chats with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Tensions between the two countries have been rising. (Andy Wong/Associated Press)

The judge didn’t mention Donald Trump’s name — but the tense relationship between the U.S. president and China’s leadership has simmered in the background from the moment Meng first stepped foot in court.

« There’s a larger macro struggle going on between the United States and China, » Martin told the court during his client’s first appearance — proceedings to which the CBC News has since listened.

Many of the people who packed the courtroom for three days running questioned the timing and motive of the arrest. They applauded Ehrcke’s final decision and some congratulated Meng’s husband as he left the courtroom.

Supporters decried the allegations and one man walked outside the courthouse and shouted, « We love Huawei. »

Patience and time

The arrest of a Canadian in China on the same day that Meng’s release was to be decided increased the air of intrigue.

And Trump’s assertion that he might intervene in the case against Meng if it would help national security interests or close a trade deal with China only helped reinforce the sense that the case may ultimately be decided in Washington and Beijing, not Vancouver.

For now, though, Meng is confined to a strict radius of locations in Vancouver, Richmond and parts of North and West Vancouver.

She’ll pay for round-the-clock shifts of security guards to watch her every movement — sworn to arrest her if she breaches the terms of her parole.

She’ll swap her green prison sweats for an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet.

And she’ll finally get to pick up a book. To paraphrase War and Peace, she may learn that patience and time are the strongest warriors of all.


Source link

قالب وردپرس

Live: Bail hearing for Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou continues for third day


VANCOUVER—The bail hearing for a Chinese telecommunications giant’s top executive continues for a third day Tuesday in Vancouver.

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Telecommunications, was arrested in Vancouver International airport Dec. 1 by Canadian authorities. She was sought for extradition to the United States on allegations of fraud, and has just spent her 10th night at the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in Maple Ridge, B.C., about an hour east of Vancouver.

At the bail hearing Tuesday, the provisional arrest warrant from the United States is expected to be entered into evidence at the B.C. Supreme Court, with more details of the fraud charges she faces there.

Meng’s defence lawyers are expected to produce three character reference letters, none from Canada, as well as more details of the Meng family finances and family ties to the city. An affidavit from her husband Liu Xiaozong, who is listed on both a $5-million mortgage and a $15-million mortgage, may reveal more about the equity the family has in their two Vancouver homes, as well as his financial status.

Meng’s lawyer Monday argued his client should be granted bail under conditions, including that she wear a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet, and be supervised by a security detail around the clock. Her husband, Liu Xiaozong, agreed to be her “community surety” — posting bail and making sure she doesn’t skip town.

The Crown lawyer raised concerns with the proposals. The court Monday heard the proposed monitoring device could be cut off with scissors and works on a 3G network run by Rogers, which has partnerships with Huawei. The Crown also argued Liu was not an adequate surety, because “if Ms. Meng were to flee … Mr. Liu would not be left behind.”

The third day of the hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Follow investigative reporter Michael Mui (@mui24hours) below for live coverage of day three of the bail hearing.

Perrin Grauer is a Vancouver-based reporter covering community issues and Canada’s drug policies. Follow him on Twitter: @perringrauer

Alex McKeen is a Vancouver-based reporter covering wealth and work. Follow her on Twitter: @alex_mckeen

Michael Mui is a Vancouver-based investigative reporter. Follow him on Twitter: @mui24hours


Source link

قالب وردپرس

Meng Wanzhou family photos hint at the Huawei CFO’s life in Vancouver


Meng Wanzhou smiles alongside her family in front of landmarks such as the Lions Gate Bridge, in newly-released photos that hint at the Huawei CFO’s life in Vancouver.

The photos, released to media following a bail hearing on Monday, show Meng in various locations such as False Creek, where she sits in front of the Burrard Street Bridge.

Another image shows her in Victoria, where she can be seen in front of B.C.’s legislature building.

Coverage of the arrest of Meng Wanzhou on

Meng has faced a bail hearing that lasted two days; it has provided various insights into her and her family’s life in Vancouver amid concern that she could pose a flight risk if she were released.

The hearing came after she was arrested at Vancouver International Airport on Dec. 1, on allegations that she violated U.S. trade sanctions on Iran.

A Crown lawyer on Monday said she poses this risk because of her wealth and a lack of ties to Canada.

Meng Wanzhou is seen in front of the B.C. legislature building in Victoria.

Court exhibit

Court documents released over the weekend hinted at the ties that Meng has kept on Canada’s West Coast.

Meng and her husband Liu Xiaozong own two properties in Vancouver, one at 4005 West 28th Avenue that was bought in 2009, and another at 1603 Matthews Street, which was bought in 2016, affidavits showed.

Together, the homes were assessed at just under $22 million in 2017.

Meng Wanzhou with her family.

Court exhibit

Meng has four children; two of whom went to school in Vancouver from 2009 to 2012, while her husband was studying toward a master’s degree in the city.

Once the kids were finished school, Meng would spend “many weeks, sometimes months” in Vancouver in the summertime, an affidavit said.

“I always try to spend at least two to three weeks in Vancouver every summer,” it said.

WATCH: China demands Meng Wanzhou’s release

Her in-laws had stayed at their home in the summer months since 2010, she added,

Meng’s legal team has said that she doesn’t pose a flight risk, owing partly to her links in Vancouver as well as a fear of hurting Huawei’s reputation.

READ MORE: Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou bail hearing hears plan for electronic monitoring

“My father founded Huawei and I would never do anything that would cause the company reputational damage,” she said in an affidavit.

“I believe that breaching my bail conditions would cause such damage.”

Meng Wanzhou with family members.

Court exhibit

If Meng were to flee to China, then bringing her to justice would prove that much more difficult, as the People’s Republic doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Canada or the U.S.

Should Meng be released, then private security provider Lions Gate Risk Management will have the authority to apprehend her if she breaches her bail conditions, her lawyer David Martin said Monday.

WATCH: More details released in Meng Wanzhou case after publication ban lifts

She would have 24/7 security with a driver and security team, a home security package, and she would have to provide them with a weekly itinerary, Lions Gate executive director Scot Filer said.

She would also be able to travel within a surveillance zone.

Meng Wanzhou with family near the Lions Gate Bridge.

Court exhibit

The Crown asked Filer whether he could assure the court that Meng would be prevented from breaching her bail.

He couldn’t provide guarantees but he said he was confident that her security would “satisfy the court.”

Meng Wanzhou with family near the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver.

Court exhibit

Meng has received reference letters as part of her defence.

One of them came from Fan Bao, who described himself as the CEO of Chinese Renaissance Group, one of China’s “largest investment banks and private equity firms.”

He vouched for Meng’s character, saying, “based on my experience working with her, she has come across as a person of highest professional and moral standards.

“While I’m not privy to the circumstances of her detention, I see absolute [sic] no risk for her bail. Ms. Meng is very knowledge [sic] about the international laws and regulations and holds greatest respect for them. She is also a very proud person and will only utilize legal means to prove her innocence.”

Crown lawyers have noted that none of the reference letters came from anyone from B.C. or Canada.

Here are more photos of Meng Wanzhou and her family in the Vancouver area:

Meng Wanzhou with family near the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver.


Meng Wanzhou with family.

Court exhibit

Meng Wanzhou with family in front of a home in Vancouver.

Court exhibit

Meng Wanzhou with family on a beach.

Court exhibit

Meng Wanzhou with family on a beach.

Court exhibit

Meng Wanzhou with family in front of a home.

Court exhibit

Meng Wanzhou with family.

Court exhibit

  • With files from Jon Azpiri, Simon Little and Rumina Daya

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


Source link

قالب وردپرس

LIVE: Bail hearing resumes for Meng Wanzhou, the Huawei CFO arrested on fraud allegations


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


Source link

قالب وردپرس

What to expect at Wanzhou Meng’s bail hearing


VANCOUVER—Whether or not Huawei executive Wanzhou Meng is a flight risk will likely make up the bulk of the arguments presented at a bail hearing scheduled at B.C. Supreme Court Friday morning, according to a Vancouver immigration lawyer.

Lawyer Richard Kurland said it’ll be up to Meng and her legal team to prove she is not likely to flee Canada if she is released from custody. Meng is being sought by the U.S. Attorney’s Eastern District of New York office to face unspecified charges after being detained while transferring planes in Vancouver on Dec. 1.

Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is seen in a portrait photo. (Huawei via AP)
Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is seen in a portrait photo. (Huawei via AP)  (Huawei)

Kurland said the review of whether or not Meng should remain behind bars while awaiting a later hearing to determine her extradition will likely take weeks. The extradition hearings themselves could take years depending on whether there are appeals, he said.

“You’ll have a burden to demonstrate you’re not a flight risk and that you’re going to comply with the process. The way it’s typically done is the person engages, at their own expense, 24-hour security, private guards that monitor them independently,” Kurland said.

“Second, you’ll also put together electronic monitoring and you need a place (to stay). So you have to have a residence where all of this is possible.”

“In the systems I know, someone like this would be highly likely to be in custody while their matter is being adjudicated. They’re such a flight risk, and because we know that if she leaves Canada, she’ll go to China and she’ll be beyond the reach of process,” Cunningham said.

“I would be shocked if she were released on bail.”

Meng is listed as the deputy chairwoman and chief financial officer of Huawei and is the daughter of Zhengfei Ren, the founder of the company. China’s embassy in Ottawa opposed the detention and called for Meng’s “personal freedom” to be restored.

The Canadian Extradition Act requires that a person must be facing charges for an offence considered criminal in both Canada and the country seeking extradition. It’s anticipated that the offence Meng is accused of could be revealed during the bail hearing. However, the Globe and Mail has reported that Meng is facing allegations she violated U.S. trade sanctions against Iran.

Cunningham suspected Meng’s arrest could be seen as a warning against those who defy U.S. sanctions, which cover Iran’s shipping, financial and energy sectors.

“Within the Trump administration, there are powerful cross-currents here,” he said. “Because they very much want to punish Iran by limiting trade with Iran, and by punishing companies that violate those sanctions.”

But the move could also have repercussions with Canadian-Chinese relations.

“I could imagine the Chinese government could be putting a great deal of pressure on the Canadian government,” Cunningham said.

“There’s a big disagreement right now between the U.S. and its closest allies, I believe Canada being one of them, over how to interpret what sanctions ought to be enforced against Iran and what sanctions should not.”

Kurland, meanwhile, wonders whether Canadian business interests in China may be the target of any retaliation by the Chinese.

“Is it riskier (now) for Canadian business people to visit China? What if China decides to retaliate with the nab and grab of a senior Canadian business person in China? Now what?” Kurland said.

Perrin Grauer is a Vancouver-based reporter covering community issues and Canada’s drug policies. Follow him on Twitter: perringrauer

Jeremy Nuttall is the lead investigative reporter for StarMetro Vancouver. Follow him on Twitter: @Nuttallreports

Michael Mui is a Vancouver-based investigative reporter. Follow him on Twitter: @mui24hours

Joanna Chiu is assistant managing editor of StarMetro Vancouver. Follow her on Twitter: @joannachiu


Source link

قالب وردپرس