The Case of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou

Meng Wanzhou, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Huawei who was arrested by the Canadian government at the behest of the U.S. administration, has been granted bail by the Supreme Court of British Columbia. (Image: flickr / CC0 1.0)
Meng Wanzhou, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Huawei who was arrested by the Canadian government at the behest of the U.S. administration, has been granted bail by the Supreme Court of British Columbia. (Image: flickr / CC0 1.0)

Meng Wanzhou, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Huawei who was arrested by the Canadian government at the behest of the U.S. administration, has been granted bail by the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The bail, which came at a cost of $10 million Candian (US$7.5 million), will end Meng’s 10-day stay in prison. She was arrested because of Huawei’s dealings with Iran despite U.S. sanctions against such engagements.

The bail

The prosecutors on the case argued that Meng was a flight risk, stating that her position of power will enable her to evade all electronic monitoring and escape from Canada if she were let free. However, after a 3-day bail hearing that concluded on December 11, the judge decided to grant bail since she had a clean record.

“I am satisfied that on the particular facts of this case, including the fact that Ms. Meng is a well-educated businesswoman who has no criminal record and of whom several people have attested to her good character, the risk of her non-attendance in court can be reduced to an acceptable level,” William Ehrcke, B.C. Supreme Court Justice, said in a statement (The Globe And Mail).

Courtroom sketch of Meng Wanzhou. (Image: YouTube/Screenshot)

Courtroom sketch of Meng Wanzhou. (Image: YouTube / Screenshot)

According to conditions of the bail, Meng has to deposit $7 million Canadian (US$5.2 million). In addition, the three or five sureties who promised to supervise her during bail period will also have to contribute C$3 million (US$2.2 million) as a deposit. She will now live in a home in Vancouver under 24-hour electronic surveillance.

Meng will be required to wear a GPS bracelet during the bail term. She will have to report to her bail supervisor on a weekly basis and must bear all costs associated with her monitoring. A curfew will be in effect every day between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Meng has been given limited freedom to travel in a specific boundary within Vancouver. She will soon be joined by her husband and daughter.

Meng’s arrest

Meng was arrested mainly due to Huawei’s relationship with a company called Skycom, which did business with Iran. The U.S. has identified Skycom as a “hidden” subsidiary of Huawei. Since Iran was under U.S. sanctions, companies were barred from conducting any transactions with the country. However, Skycom was found to be involved with Iranian mobile operator MTN Irancell Telecommunications Services Co.

The Director-General of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) of New Zealand has rejected a proposal from telecom carrier Spark to use Huawei tech in providing 5G services due to security concerns. (Image: wikimedia / CC0 1.0)

The U.S. has identified Skycom as a ‘hidden’ subsidiary of Huawei. (Image: wikimedia / CC0 1.0)

In 2013, Meng denied the allegations even though she was on the board of directors at Skycom. Later, the CFO stated that Huawei had sold off all shares of Skycom and she had quit her position. An investigation into the matter revealed that shares were sold to a company that was also controlled by Huawei. In light of these discoveries, the U.S. considers Meng to have engaged in fraudulent transactions with Iran, acting against U.S. sanctions, and misrepresenting Huawei’s involvement in the incident.

Meng already has a warrant against her name, issued by a judge in the Eastern District of New York. Hence, she was soon detained by the Canadian officials on a provisional arrest warrant when she landed at the Vancouver International Airport.

Typically, the U.S. has 60 days from the person’s arrest to send a formal request of extradition to Canada. According to the judge, U.S. officials must file an official extradition request by January 8, 2019.

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