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Huawei CFO bail hearing to finish Monday; wanted in U.S. for fraud and bypassing sanctions against Iran

Last Updated Dec 8, 2018 at 8:10 am CDT

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Huawei’s CFO, wanted on fraud charges in the U.S., will be spending the weekend in jail as the judge’s decision on her bail hearing has been pushed back to Monday.

The case is one that could have potentially major implications for Canada’s relationship with China. Meng Wanzhou was arrested last Saturday while in transit at Vancouver’s airport.

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 U.S. sanctions against Iran.

The U.S. is accusing the company of using subsidiary Skycom to do business with Iran, which would bypass sanctions. Meng is accused to have previously insisted the two were separate companies.

If she is extradited and convicted, she could face sentences as long as 30 years.

The Crown argues Meng should be denied bail, claiming she is a flight risk.

But, if released on bail, Meng’s lawyer insists his client will not leave the country, noting her husband is here and her daughter could be transferred to school here (presumably somewhere in the Vancouver area).

Her lawyer claimed breaking the court order would embarrass China and humiliate her father, given the company’s prominence as a global brand.

He also outlined the Byzantine structure and what he called a constantly changing nature of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

The judge has lifted a publication ban that was in place at Meng’s request thanks to a lawyer representing several media outlets.

RELATED: Canada’s envoy to Beijing briefs China on arrest of Huawei executive: Freeland

Chinese officials have expressed concern about the arrest, with the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa calling it as a serious violation of human rights, while Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang has said Canadian officials should reveal their reasoning for the arrest.

Huawei issued a statement in China Saturday saying it has “every confidence that the Canadian and U.S. legal systems will reach the right conclusion” over her arrest.

Huawei is the most prestigious tech company in China and was founded by Meng’s father, Ren Zhengfei.

The company has said it is not aware of any wrongdoing by Meng.

 – With files from the Canadian Press