US case against Huawei official politically motivated, company says

Zhu Shenshen
Meng Wanzhou was back in court as her lawyers claim her rights under Canadian law are being violated and a US extradition request lacks legal grounds. 
Zhu Shenshen

A US extradition warrant for Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, is guided by “political considerations and tactics” and is an “unlawful abuse of process,” Huawei Technologies said in a statement on Thursday.

Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was back in a Canadian court on Wednesday.

Her lawyers presented updated disclosures to the court, including claims that the allegations against her were untrue, that her rights under Canadian law were being seriously and repeatedly violated, and that the US extradition request lacked legal grounds.

Meng was detained in December by Canadian authorities and faces extradition to the US, where she is charged with bank fraud and evasion of US sanctions on Iran.

“Political factors at play during the extradition process may lead to a serious violation of justice and Meng’s legitimate rights may also be harmed,” Huawei said in its statement.

Meng’s luggage was searched, her cellphone and other electronic devices seized, and she was compelled to reveal her passwords, according to Huawei.

"The criminal case against Ms Meng is based on allegations that are simply not true. To the contrary, it was made clear in court today that business activities by Ms Meng were conducted openly and transparently with full knowledge of banking officials," Xinhua news agency reported, citing Benjamin Howes, vice president of Canadian media affairs at Huawei, who was speaking outside the British Columbia Supreme Court.

Huawei is the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker and one of the biggest smartphone brands. In the first quarter, its revenue rose 39 percent year on year, thanks to booming 5G and smartphone sales.

It is the first time Huawei, a private firm, has posted quarterly figures. Previously, the company reported annually.

As of the end of March, Huawei had signed 40 commercial contracts for 5G services and equipment and had shipped more than 70,000 5G base stations.

The US is attempting to block the use of Huawei equipment globally, citing security concerns.

Both Meng and Huawei have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Meng’s next court appearance is set for September, but it's still unclear when extradition proceedings will begin.

"We have trust in the Canadian judicial process — and we look forward to seeing Ms Meng's freedom restored," Huawei added.

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