Huawei executive faces United States fraud charges linked to Iran sanctions

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Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese technology giant Huawei, the world's second-largest smartphone amker, faces allegations of hiding her company's links to a firm that looked to sell products to Iran in defiance of sanctions and conspiring to defraud banks, a Canadian court was told by prosecutors.

The case against Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of the founder of Huawei, stems from a 2013 Reuters report 131 about the company's close ties to Hong Kong-based Skycom Tech Co Ltd, which attempted to sell U.S. equipment to Iran despite USA and European Union bans, the prosecutor told a Vancouver court.

She was held in Vancouver last Saturday and faces extradition to the United States, where she could be jailed for up to 30 years if found guilty.

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's CFO and daughter of its founder, was arrested in Canada on December 1 and faces extradition to the United States.

The case was adjourned until Monday by Justice William Ehrcke to allow the defence more time to complete its submissions.

David Martin, the attorney representing Meng at the hearing, acknowledged Skycom had been a Huawei subsidiary but said it was sold in 2009.

Gibb-Carsley told the B.C. Supreme Court hearing that Reuters reported in 2013 that Huawei was operating Skycom and had attempted to import US -manufactured computer equipment into Iran in violation of sanctions.

He suggested that Meng has shown a pattern of avoiding the USA since becoming aware of the investigation into the matter, has no ties to Canada and has access to vast wealth and connections - and thus poses a flight risk.


Meng arrived in the packed Supreme Court of British Columbia as dozens of photographers jostled outside the building.

"You break the American law, you break the Canadian law, you've got to pay the consequences of that", Kudlow said of the Huawei case.

Le said Canada's arrest of Meng while she was changing plane in Vancouver was a serious breach of her lawful rights. Fleeing "would humiliate and embarrass her father, whom she loves", he argued.

Should a judge agree to extradite Meng, she would have multiple chances to appeal the decision. Huawei has said "the company has been provided with little information regarding the charges and it's not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng".

"China talks are going very well", Trump said on Twitter, without providing any details.

An editorial from the state-run Global Times says, among other things, that the U.S. is acting like a "despicable rogue" and that the arrest - which is ostensibly related to a suspicion of violating Iran trade sanctions - is a way for the USA to kept Huawei's growth in check.

"There is ample evidence to suggest that no major Chinese company is independent of the Chinese government and Communist Party - and Huawei, which China's government and military tout as a "national champion" is no exception", U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Marco Rubio wrote in October in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Martin identified the firm as HSBC Holdings Plc, but he disputed the US allegation that Meng misrepresented anything to that financial institution. Huawei reportedly also received several warnings over violating Iranian sanctions. Fighting extradition proceedings can take years.

The U.S. government alleges Huawei used a subsidiary, Skycom, to circumvent U.S. sanctions against Iran and accuses Meng of deceiving a financial institution she was dealing with.

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