Meng Wanzhou's lawyers say Canadian border officers mishandled her arrest and handed information to the FBI
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou arriving at the British Columbia Supreme Court on Monday, October 1, 2019. (Reuters)
In an attempt to end her extradition trial before it ever starts, Meng Wanzhou's lawyers have argued that Canadian border officers mishandled her initial arrest last year.
Her lawyers made their case on October 3rd, at what may be their final pre-extradition trial hearing. Meng was arrested in December, 2018 while changing planes at Vancouver International Airport, and has been under arrest in Canada since. Her extradition trial is set to begin in January, 2020.
Meng's lawyers say that Canadian border officials illegally collected evidence against her under the guise of an immigration check, despite having a warrant to arrest her immediately. During their pre-arrest interrogation, border officials asked Meng about Huawei's work in Iran -- the centerpiece of the FBI's case against her company.
Her lawyers also say that, prior to arrest, border officials confiscated her phone and other devices and placed them in bags that block remote tampering. They then gave her passwords and serial numbers to Canadian police and the FBI.
She was arrested after 3 hours but was never formally admitted into Canada, putting her immigration status in limbo since her December arrest.
Border officials say that passing her passwords to police was a technical mistake, and sought to downplay their pre-trial interrogation.
Meng's lawyers are seeking more documents related to her arrest. Government lawyers have until Wednesday, October 9 to provide affidavits from five border officials on whether they shared information with the FBI. Meng's team then has until the 16th to decide if they want to cross examine the officers.
China's giant, data-rich population and government-run economy make it a unique competitor in the global AI development race.