Nothing ‘routine’ about Meng Wanzhou’s treatment at Vancouver airport: Defence

Defence lawyers argued Meng was the subject of an abuse of process

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who is out on bail and remains under partial house arrest after she was detained last year at the behest of American authorities, leaves her home to attend a court hearing in Vancouver, on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

A lawyer for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou denies her defence team is on a “fishing expedition” for documents to support its case.

Scott Fenton told the B.C. Supreme Court on Tuesday that the team is not relying on conjecture, guess work or wishful thinking when it asks the court to compel the Attorney General of Canada to release further documents related to Meng’s arrest at Vancouver’s airport last December.

“We are not on a proverbial fishing expedition in any way,” Fenton said, adding that the defence will offer a more narrow and specific request for access Wednesday.

Meng’s legal team is arguing for further disclosure in an ongoing hearing ahead of Meng’s extradition trial, which begins in January.

Fenton said the defence must convince Justice Heather Holmes that there is an “air of reality” to their allegations, including that Meng was the subject of an abuse of process, in order to compel further disclosure from the Crown.

Canada’s attorney general has not yet presented its response in court but documents show it will argue that officials followed the law when they detained the top Chinese tech executive and the defence has no proof to substantiate its “conspiracy theory” that she was illegally arrested.

READ MORE: Border officials, RCMP followed law in arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Crown says

Meng was arrested Dec. 1, 2018, at the request of the United States, which is seeking her extradition on fraud charges in violation of sanctions with Iran. Both Meng and Chinese tech giant Huawei have denied any wrongdoing and none of the allegations have been tested in court.

The arrest of Meng, who is the chief financial officer of Huawei and the daughter of the company’s founder, sparked a diplomatic crisis between Canada and China. She is free on bail and living in Vancouver.

Another defence lawyer, Richard Peck, told the court Tuesday that there was nothing “routine” about the way Meng was questioned by border officials before she was read her rights and informed of her arrest at the airport.

He pointed to a solemn declaration sworn by a border official that says Meng repeatedly asked why she was taken for secondary screening and that he questioned Meng about her business activity in Iran.

Peck also presented video showing that neither he nor another border official standing by took notes of the conversation, even though the second official had “meticulously” taken notes during other portions of Meng’s detention in the screening area.

Part of the defence team’s argument will allege that the official intentionally failed to properly document their process.

The deputy minister of justice and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were also briefed on the arrest, he noted.

“There is nothing routine about this,” Peck told the court.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 24, 2019.

Amy Smart, The Canadian Press

READ MORE: Border officials, RCMP followed law in arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Crown says

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Writer helps Vernon residents pen their memoirs

Free workshop at Caetani Cultural Centre with Janelle Hardy

AIM Roads to focus on clearing compact snow and slush, enable roads to drain

Snow accumulation exceeds 10-year records in Malakwa, Enderby, Squilax

Vernon courthouse repairs in design phase: ministry

Base building maintenance work and energy studies for the building underway

Sovereign seeks 250 volunteers for ski nationals

Estimated 800 athletes, coaches and support expected for March 25-April 2 event

Rare leucistic hawk captured by Vernon photographer

Carla Hunt is now hoping she can catch photos of the bird in flight

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Summerland taxes expected to rise by 4.0%

Increase to add an estimated $77.73 to typical tax bill

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Tourism visits to the Thompson/Okanagan up 18 per cent year-over-year

In 2019, almost 11.4 million people spent at least one night visiting the region

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Most Read