US Wants Huawei Executive 'To Face Charges Over Iran Sanctions'

BEIJING — A top Chinese telecommunications executive facing possible extradition to the United States has appeared in court as she sought bail in a case that has rattled mar­kets and raised doubts about a fragile trade war truce between Washington and Beijing.

A prosecutor for the Ca­nadian government on Friday urged the court not to grant bail, saying the charges against Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer (CFO) of Huawei, involve US allegations that the Chinese telecoms giant used a sham shell company to access the Iran mar­ket in dealings that contravene sanctions by Washington.

The hours-long hearing was adjourned until Monday, when the court is expected to render a decision on bail. Until then, Meng will remain in custody.

Meng was arrested in Vancou­ver on December 1, while transfer­ring planes on a trip from Hong Kong to Mexico, at the request of US authorities seeking her extradition. The arrest was made public on Wednesday.

If convicted, the 46-year-old daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei faces more than 30 years in prison, said the Canadian prosecutor.

The prosecutor said Meng had personally denied to US bankers any direct connections between Huawei and SkyCom, when in fact "SkyCom is Huawei".

Hong Kong-based SkyCom's al­leged sanction breaches occurred from 2009 to 2014.

The lawyer suggested that Meng has shown a pattern of avoiding the US since becoming aware of the investigation into the matter, has access to vast wealth and connections, and therefore could flee Canada.

Meng's lawyer, David Martin, disputed the prosecutor's call to deny bail, saying: "The fact a person has worked hard and has extraordinary resources cannot be a factor that would exclude them from bail."

He said Meng's personal integrity would not allow her to go against a court order, and that she would not embarrass her father and company founder by breach­ing such an order.

US-China trade thaw threatened

The arrest roiled global stock markets over fears the move could escalate the US-China trade war despite a truce between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping last week.

Canada denied that the arrest, which was made public on Wednesday, was politically motivated, while the US officials on Thursday said Trump did not know about the arrest in advance.

Earlier on Friday, Chinese for­eign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said neither Canada nor the US provided China with any evidence that Meng had broken any law in the two countries, and demanded her release.

In a statement on Wednesday, Huawei said, "The company has been provided very little informa­tion regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng."

Chinese state media slammed Meng's arrest, accusing the US of trying to "stifle" Huawei and curb its global expansion.

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