Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou arrives home after a court appearance in Vancouver on March 6, 2019. (CP)

Border officials, RCMP followed law in arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Crown says

Huawei exec argues she was unlawfully detained at YVR last December at direction of U.S. authorities

Canadian officials followed the law when they detained Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver’s airport and the defence has no proof to substantiate its “conspiracy theory” that she was illegally arrested, the Crown says.

The Attorney General of Canada says in court documents released Monday that there’s no evidence to suggest that the RCMP or the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States asked border agents to elicit information from Meng during the detainment.

“There is no evidence that lends an air of reality to these allegations, nor is there evidence that would suggest there is any documentation that would substantiate these allegations,” it says.

Meng, whose arrest has sparked a diplomatic crisis between Canada and China, returned to B.C. Supreme Court on Monday where her lawyers are asking for documents that they say would support their allegations.

The Huawei chief financial officer was arrested on Dec. 1, 2018, during a stopover in Vancouver on her way to Mexico. The arrest was at the request of the United States, which is seeking her extradition on fraud charges.

The U.S. alleges that Meng misrepresented facts to HSBC regarding Huawei’s business dealings in Iran, which put the bank at risk of prosecution for violating sanctions against the country.

Both Meng and the Chinese tech giant have denied any wrongdoing and none of the allegations have been tested in court.

The court released hundreds of pages of documents on Monday, including the Crown’s written reply to the defence’s request for documents and surveillance video without sound showing Meng speaking with agents from the Canada Border Services Agency at the airport.

READ MORE: RCMP, CBSA deny searching Meng Wanzhou’s phones and other devices

In its reply, the Crown says border agents followed proper procedure in examining Meng and her goods to determine her admissibility to Canada and her charter rights were not breached.

It says the border agency is empowered by law to examine a traveller’s cellphones, and in this case they placed Meng’s phones in evidence bags and requested her passcodes but ultimately decided against looking through the devices.

The RCMP also followed procedure by waiting to execute the provisional arrest warrant until after border officials had suspended their examination of Meng, it says, adding that the Mounties legally seized her phones at that point.

“If the CBSA and RCMP together have engaged in a ‘well-coordinated scheme’ and ‘strategically drafted’ their notes to conceal misconduct, why would the RCMP … record the contents of their meeting in detail?” the Crown asks.

However, the defence team alleges extensive misconduct including delaying the arrest, deceiving Meng about the nature of her detention and abusing their statutory powers in order to collect evidence for the fraud case in the U.S.

Defence lawyer Richard Peck told court Monday that border services and the RCMP “collaborated, arranged a plan” to deal with Meng in a way that violated the provisional arrest warrant.

“This plan delayed the implementation of Ms. Meng’s rights and afforded the CBSA an opportunity to interrogate her and that such information was arranged to be shared with the RCMP and with the FBI,” Peck said.

Peck told the court that border officials handed Meng’s phone passcodes to the RCMP. They made efforts to obscure the nature of interactions with Meng and omitted details in documents including notes and declarations to fulfil that purpose, he said.

“Lifting language from the authorities, we refer to this as a ‘covert criminal investigation’ under the pretext of an admissibility exam for immigration purposes,” Peck told the court.

Peck also alleges Meng’s arrest is part of a history of American officials detaining Huawei employees at airports, pointing to “expected testimony” from a confidential witness who says her work laptops were searched or seized at ports of entry.

He argued that there’s enough evidence to suggest further documents exist to support the argument that Canadian officials acted as agents of U.S. law enforcement.

He pointed to an email that he said is from an FBI agent to a Canadian official.

“It says ‘Ben, thank you,’ — this is from the FBI — ‘thank you for all the work. Appreciate the co-ordination. As soon as a warrant is obtained, the information should be heading to RCMP and CBSA,’” Peck read to the court.

Her extradition trial won’t begin until Jan. 20 and she is free on bail while living in Vancouver.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Clearview and staff are providing $1,525 towards ensuring families have enough to eat over the holidays

“Food Bank usage in Stettler and other areas continues to increase.”

‘You can take the kid from the farm, but you can’t take the farm from the kid!’

Former area resident Maxine Berry reflects on growing up years in Endiang region

Red Deer-Lacombe MP, other Conservative MPs meet with AB justice minister

Calkins said the justice system is a revolving door for criminals targeting rural areas

Businesses and organizations team up for Miracle on 50th

Shop local, celebrate local on Dec. 14th

The Association of Communities Against Abuse continues to build awareness and offer support

A new support and empowerment group has also been started in Stettler

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Alberta to change drug coverage for 26,000 patients, expects to save up to $380M

Patients being treated with biologics on government-sponsored drug plans must switch to biosimilars

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Pet medical neglect cases on the rise in economically ailing Calgary

Alberta’s unemployment rate was 7.2 per cent in November compared with 4.4 per cent five years ago

Alberta premier opens war room to promote ‘truth’ about energy industry

Effort includes a $2.5-million public inquiry into foreign funding of anti-oil advocacy groups

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Most Read