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Huawei CFO To Be Extradited to The U.S.

On the heels of Huawei pleading not guilty in federal court for allegedly stealing trade secrets, Canada announces it would be extraditing Huawei's CFO to the U.S., further fanning the flames between the U.S. and China.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou will be extradited to the U.S., Canada's Department of Justice announced Friday.

The decision to green light the extradition proceedings for Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, comes one day after the Chinese telecom company pleaded not guilty in a Seattle court to U.S. charges of trade-secret theft related to T-Mobile, conspiracy to steal trade secrets, seven counts of wire fraud, and one count of obstruction of justice.

Meng has been in Canada's custody since December when she was switching planes in Vancouver and was arrested by Canadian police on behalf of the U.S.

[Related: Struggling Huawei Pleads Not Guilty To Trade Secret Theft, Wire Fraud In U.S.]

In a statement issued Friday, the Canadian Department of Justice said that its decision to have an extradition hearing was made after reviewing the evidence in Meng’s case.

"The Department is satisfied that the requirements set out by the Extradition Act for the issuance of an Authority to Proceed have been met and there is sufficient evidence to be put before an extradition judge for decision."

On March 6, the British Columbia Supreme Court is scheduled will take the next steps in the process and schedule the date for the extradition hearing.

"An extradition hearing is not a trial nor does it render a verdict of guilt or innocence. If a person is ultimately extradited from Canada to face prosecution in another country, the individual will have a trial in that country," according to the Canadian government's statement.

The statement from the government went on to say that Meng will remain on bail, in her case, house arrest with an ankle monitoring device, while court proceedings are underway.

Diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and China climbed in December when the struggling Chinese telecom provider's CFO was arrested by Canada on behalf of the U.S. because of alleged activities during her time as head of a Huawei-affiliated company that U.S. prosecutors believe sold equipment to Iran in violation of U.S. regulations.

Huawei has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Attorneys for Meng said: "We are disappointed that the Minister of Justice has decided to issue an Authority to Proceed in the face of the political nature of the U.S, charges and where the President of the United States has repeatedly stated that he would interfere in Ms. Meng’s case if he thought it would assist the U.S negotiations with China over a trade deal. We are also concerned that the Minister has approved an ATP in circumstances where the conduct alleged to be an offence in the U.S. would not be an offence in Canada. This is an affront to the foundational extradition principle of double criminality."

The attorneys went on to say that Meng maintains her innocent and that "the U.S. prosecution and extradition constitutes an abuse of the processes of law. Our client looks forward to having her rights vindicated in the judicial phase of the extradition process."

 

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