Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

Iran connection emerges as Canada's envoy briefs China on Huawei arrest

Iran connection emerges as Canada's envoy briefs China on Huawei arrest

Huawei's CFO, wanted on fraud charges in the USA, will be spending the weekend in jail as the judge's decision on her bail hearing has been pushed back to Monday.

The company would not say why she faces extradition, but at Meng's bail hearing Friday, the Crown revealed she is wanted due to an investigation into fraud and violations against US sanctions against Iran.

Canadian prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley said that the telecoms giant used a subsidiary, Hong Kong-based firm Skycom, to do business with Iran, bypassing U.S. sanctions.

SkyCom employees used Huawei email addresses and bank records linked the two companies together, and SkyCom was used to engage in business deals with sanctioned countries, including with Iranian telecom companies, the court heard. He said her actions exposed the banks to potential fines for violating USA sanctions. In turn, Skycom chiefs in Iran were employed by Huawei.

Meng's lawyer, David Martin, argued that it would be unfair to deny her bail just because she "has worked hard and has extraordinary resources".

If extradited to the United States, Ms Meng would face charges of conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions, the court heard, with a maximum sentence of 30 years for each charge. "If the US does what it did to ZTE, there's very little China can do to prevent Huawei from collapsing, and that's not in China's interest". While personal details are scant, she is married and has a son and a daughter, Huawei said.

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United States intelligence agencies also allege that Huawei is linked to China's government and that its equipment could contain "backdoors" for use by government spies.

Canadian officials have said Ottawa was continuing to review Huawei´s technology for use in upcoming fifth-generation networks.

If she is released on bail, she has agreed to surrender her passports and submit to electronic monitoring until she is discharged or surrendered for trial to the United States.

Chinese state-run media said the arrest was part of USA efforts to curtail China´s tech industry.

Meng's bio on the company website says she joined in 1993 and held various positions across the company, including director of worldwide accounting and CFO of Huawei Hong Kong.

In mid-August, US President Donald Trump enacted legislation banning government agencies from using services from Huawei and ZTE, along with other Chinese companies.

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In this courtroom sketch, Meng, right, sits beside a translator during a bail hearing at British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver.

Several reporters from the USA and Canadian media organizations tweeted details of the accusations after the court lifted a publishing ban that had been in place since Meng's arrest.

The Trump administration has tightened regulations on high-tech exports to China and made it harder for Chinese firms to invest in USA companies or to buy American technology in cutting-edge areas like robotics, artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau told reporters on December 6 that he had been informed of the arrest a few days ahead of it taking place. "That number, I remember it very clearly", he said outside the courthouse.

Huawei says Ren was a standout in the Chinese military's engineering corps, retiring in 1983 when the unit disbanded.

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