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Huawei executive's lawyers accuse Canada federal police of lying
[VANCOUVER] A defence lawyer for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou accused a Canadian policeman on Wednesday of giving a "not honest" reply during the ongoing hearing on whether the Chinese national should be extradited to the US.
The accusation targeted Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable Winston Yep's testimony about why he delayed arresting Meng during a December 2018 stopover in Vancouver.
Meng is wanted by the United States on fraud charges related to violations of American sanctions in Iran Yep testified this week that he did not immediately arrest Meng when her flight landed in Vancouver because of "safety reasons," telling the court she might have had a knife, secret bodyguards or even "counter-surveillance" agents with her.
He also said border officials wanted to question her first about her immigration status.
But defence lawyer Richard Peck in a cross-examination on Wednesay said, "My view is that's not an honest answer. Safety was never an issue; that's my suggestion to you."
Meng was interogated by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for nearly three hours without legal representation, before being arrested by the RCMP.
The defence contends that Canadian authorities conspired with the US to delay Meng's arrest and obtain information that could be used at trial, in violation of her rights - which Canada rejects.
"Initially, RCMP thought (they) would stand by gate to arrest (Meng)," Peck said, quoting from RCMP notes on her detention. "And had that happened, she would have been arrested at the gate... and given her Charter rights." Scott Kirkland, the CBSA officer who interrogated Meng also demanded her electronic device passcodes, and was next to take the stand.
Meng's arrest plunged Canada-China relations into crisis, leading days later to the detention on espionage suspicions of two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, in what Ottawa says was retaliatory.
The extradition case is scheduled to wrap up in April 2021.