Canada, HSBC ‘accomplices’ of US in falsely accusing Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou: latest legal documents

By Chen Qingqing Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/16 8:31:47

Photo taken on Nov. 20, 2019 shows Huawei's exhibition booth during a press preview for the 2019 World 5G Convention in Beijing, capital of China.(Xinhua/Li Xin)

Lawyers for Huawei said in a memo filed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia on Monday that Meng Wanzhou has been falsely accused and US authorities made reckless misstatements about a presentation the Huawei senior executive made to HSBC, according to the memo Huawei sent to the Global Times on Tuesday.  

The memo included claims that the US misrepresented and ignored details of a crucial presentation that Meng gave to London-headquartered bank HSBC in Hong Kong, which has become the basis of US charges against Meng for lying about the Chinese company’s business with Iran. 

The latest move showed that the case was purely politically driven, and the British bank was playing the role of Washington's accomplice, some observers said.

Since Meng was arrested in December 2018 by Canadian police at the request of the US during a flight stopover in Canada, the case has undergone several rounds of extradition hearings over the past one and a half years.

Arrested in December 2018 at the US' request, Meng remains under detention in Canada after a Canadian judge ruled last month that the extradition case against Meng could proceed.

“Meng will submit that the Requesting State’s summary of evidence … is grossly inaccurate and based on deliberate and/or reckless misstatements of fact and material omissions, thereby constituting a serious abuse of the extradition process that should disentitle the Requesting State to proceed,” Meng’s lawyers were quoted as saying  in media reports.

The memo included material omissions in the PowerPoint presentation delivered by Meng to an HSBC banker in 2013, which were “grossly misleading.” As the PPT is the foundation for the fraud allegations against Meng, “such omissions constitute, at best, gross negligence by the Requesting State in ensuring that the certified ROC/SROC accurately summarized the relevant facts and evidence available for trial and, at worst, an intentional effort to mislead,” the memo read.  

Legal documents posted on the official website of the US Department of Justice (DoJ) on January 24, 2019 show that Meng had an in-person meeting, which took place on August 22, 2013, with HSBC - referred to as Financial Institution 1 executive in the document. 

During the meeting, Meng spoke in Chinese, relying in part on a PowerPoint presentation written in Chinese. Upon HSBC's request, Meng provided an English-language version of the presentation to the bank.

People familiar with the case told the Global Times that it is not accurate to depict HSBC as a victim of the China-US battle or Washington's long-arm jurisdiction, as its then deputy head of global banking for the Asia-Pacific region, Alan Thomas, who had provided crucial "evidence" to the US side that served as numerous misrepresentations in the case against Meng, had not been coerced by the DOJ but represented a deliberate coordination with the US government. 

In such a case, the bank could be considered an "agent" of the US government in doing its dirty work to guarantee its "safety," a source close to the matter said, adding that putting itself into a geopolitical battle has created its own problems.

The memo also included misstatements about “junior/senior employees of HSBC. On the abuse motion, Meng will seek to adduce evidence that will demonstrate that these statements in the Record of the Case (ROC) are false.

The new court documents revealed over the weekend showed that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) had been advised by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ahead of Meng’s arrest at the Vancouver airport. 

In a report, the CSIS warned that the arrest could send "shock waves" around the world and lead to "great consequences" for the bilateral relationship, according to media reports.

The new information confirms what Chinese officials have been stating - that the arrest was a purely political move - and goes against claims of so-called judicial independence by Canadian officials, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Some detailed documents provided to the Global Times by sources close to the matter in 2019 also suggested that Meng’s case was a politically driven trap jointly colluded by the FBI, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) that included abuse of law enforcement procedures and violations of the law for US political purposes, and that the border agency abused its inspection powers to conduct an illegal covert criminal investigation.

Faced with growing controversy over the legal battle with Huawei and a lingering ambiguous attitude toward Hong Kong's national security law, HSBC has come under tremendous pressure in recent days, and is "far from safe" in China, some Chinese observers said.

Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Monday that relevant documents disclosed by the Canadian court once again showed that arresting Meng Wanzhou is a completely political maneuver, exposing the US' political plot to deliberately suppress Huawei and Chinese high-tech enterprises, and showed that Canada has played the role of an accomplice to the US. 

"We once again urge the Canadian side to take seriously China's solemn position and concerns, immediately release Meng Wanzhou and let her return to China safely," Zhao added.

"Don't go too far down the wrong path," the spokesperson said.

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