Canadian judge agrees to delay Meng Wanzhou extradition hearings

Huawei CFO’s lawyers had asked for three-month delay in US extradition case to review newly released banking documents.

Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou leaves her home to attend a court hearing in Vancouver, British Columbia, on March 29 [Jennifer Gauthier/Reuters]

A judge in Canada has agreed to delay hearings in the case against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who is facing extradition to the United States.

Meng’s lawyers earlier this week had asked the British Columbia Supreme Court to delay final arguments in the case until August to allow them to review documents that were recently released by Huawei’s bank.

The documents were released in a settlement reached in Hong Kong between the Chinese telecommunications giant and HSBC.

CBC News reported on Wednesday that Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes granted the defence’s request and agreed to adjourn the case until the beginning of August.

The extradition hearings were originally scheduled to wrap up next month.

Canadian authorities arrested Meng, Huawei’s chief financial officer, in Vancouver in December 2018 on an extradition warrant from the US, where she is wanted on fraud charges for allegedly breaking US sanctions on Iran.

She has rejected the accusations and her lawyers are hoping the newly released banking documents will be key to her defence.

Meng’s case has caused friction between Canada and China, where two Canadian citizens were detained in 2018 on espionage charges.

Canadian officials have accused Beijing of arresting Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig in retaliation for Meng’s arrest – an accusation that the Chinese government has rejected.

The scheduled resumption on Monday of Meng’s extradition proceedings was expected to last three weeks and would have been the final leg of her two-and-a-half-year legal fight against extradition.

Meng is currently under house arrest in Vancouver.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies