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Meng Wanzhou due back in court Tuesday, as China demands Washington drop extradition request

Last Updated Jan 29, 2019 at 11:31 am CDT


U.S. Justice Department laid out its case against Meng Wanzhou, Huawei on Monday

13 criminal counts of conspiracy, fraud, obstruction against Meng, Huawai

VANCOUVER — The case of a senior executive of Chinese tech juggernaut Huawei Technologies is scheduled to return to court in Vancouver Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Justice laid out its case Monday against Meng Wanzhou and Huawei, unsealing 13 criminal counts of conspiracy, fraud and obstruction.

The indictment, based on 23 grand jury allegations, accuses Huawei and Meng of misrepresenting their ownership of a Hong Kong-based subsidiary between 2007 and 2017 in an effort to circumvent U.S. sanctions against Iran.

The company’s U.S. branch is also accused of stealing trade secrets and equipment from cellphone provider T-Mobile USA.

Meng, who is the company’s chief financial officer and daughter of its founder, is charged with bank fraud, wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit both.

She is free on bail in Vancouver after her arrest Dec. 1 at the behest of U.S. authorities, who Canadian officials say have already filed a formal request for Meng’s extradition.

RELATED: U.S. officially files criminal charges against Huawei executive

Huawei called on Washington to stop what it called “the unreasonable crackdown” on the company, and has now China called on Washington to withdraw its request for Meng’s extradition from Canada.

China has called on Washington to “stop the unreasonable crackdown” on Huawei. Beijing will “firmly defend” its companies, a foreign ministry statement said.

It gave no indication whether Beijing might retaliate for the charges against Huawei, China’s first global tech brand and the biggest maker of switching gear for phone and internet companies.

The foreign ministry complained Washington has “mobilized state power” to hurt Chinese companies “in an attempt to strangle fair and just operations.”

“We strongly urge the United States to stop the unreasonable crackdown on Chinese companies including Huawei,” said the statement read on state TV. It said Beijing will defend the “lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies” but gave no details.

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Meng’s arrest has touched off a political furor marked by days of angry anti-Canada rhetoric from China’s foreign ministry, culminating Sunday in the firing of John McCallum as Canada’s ambassador to China.

McCallum, a former longtime Liberal MP and cabinet minister, had publicly expressed confidence in Meng’s case against any U.S. extradition order.