On 9 July 2021, Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes refused an application made by lawyers acting on behalf of Meng Wanzhou for permission to admit into evidence internal HSBC records and emails that they say contradict the allegations forming the basis of the US request for the Huawei CFO’s extradition.
Ms Meng is charged in the US with wire fraud and bank fraud in connection with the alleged violation of US sanctions on Iran. Central to the US case is a 2013 meeting between Ms Meng and HSBC officials at which she is alleged to have misled the bank as to the true nature of Huawei’s relationship with its subsidiary, Skycom, and its activities in Iran.
The documents sought to be admitted were handed over to Ms Meng’s legal team by HSBC following the settlement of a claim between Huawei and the bank in Hong Kong’s High Court in April 2021. According to the defence, the documents reveal that HSBC had knowledge of both Huawei’s continued control of Skycom and the fact that Skycom held accounts at HSBC that were controlled by Huawei.
Lawyers for the Attorney General of Canada, representing the US authorities and resisting the application, argued that the admission of the HSBC documents would result in the extradition court having to engage in the drawing of inferences and that would be to stray into the role of the trial court in the US.
Refusing the defence application, Associate Chief Justice Holmes said she would publish her reasons in writing in the coming days. Ms Meng is due to return to court on 3 August 2021 when the final stage of her extradition hearing is scheduled to commence.