Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou arrives home after a court appearance in Vancouver on March 6, 2019. (CP)

Border officials, RCMP followed law in arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Crown says

Huawei exec argues she was unlawfully detained at YVR last December at direction of U.S. authorities

Canadian officials followed the law when they detained Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver’s airport and the defence has no proof to substantiate its “conspiracy theory” that she was illegally arrested, the Crown says.

The Attorney General of Canada says in court documents released Monday that there’s no evidence to suggest that the RCMP or the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States asked border agents to elicit information from Meng during the detainment.

“There is no evidence that lends an air of reality to these allegations, nor is there evidence that would suggest there is any documentation that would substantiate these allegations,” it says.

Meng, whose arrest has sparked a diplomatic crisis between Canada and China, returned to B.C. Supreme Court on Monday where her lawyers are asking for documents that they say would support their allegations.

The Huawei chief financial officer was arrested on Dec. 1, 2018, during a stopover in Vancouver on her way to Mexico. The arrest was at the request of the United States, which is seeking her extradition on fraud charges.

The U.S. alleges that Meng misrepresented facts to HSBC regarding Huawei’s business dealings in Iran, which put the bank at risk of prosecution for violating sanctions against the country.

Both Meng and the Chinese tech giant have denied any wrongdoing and none of the allegations have been tested in court.

The court released hundreds of pages of documents on Monday, including the Crown’s written reply to the defence’s request for documents and surveillance video without sound showing Meng speaking with agents from the Canada Border Services Agency at the airport.

READ MORE: RCMP, CBSA deny searching Meng Wanzhou’s phones and other devices

In its reply, the Crown says border agents followed proper procedure in examining Meng and her goods to determine her admissibility to Canada and her charter rights were not breached.

It says the border agency is empowered by law to examine a traveller’s cellphones, and in this case they placed Meng’s phones in evidence bags and requested her passcodes but ultimately decided against looking through the devices.

The RCMP also followed procedure by waiting to execute the provisional arrest warrant until after border officials had suspended their examination of Meng, it says, adding that the Mounties legally seized her phones at that point.

“If the CBSA and RCMP together have engaged in a ‘well-coordinated scheme’ and ‘strategically drafted’ their notes to conceal misconduct, why would the RCMP … record the contents of their meeting in detail?” the Crown asks.

However, the defence team alleges extensive misconduct including delaying the arrest, deceiving Meng about the nature of her detention and abusing their statutory powers in order to collect evidence for the fraud case in the U.S.

Defence lawyer Richard Peck told court Monday that border services and the RCMP “collaborated, arranged a plan” to deal with Meng in a way that violated the provisional arrest warrant.

“This plan delayed the implementation of Ms. Meng’s rights and afforded the CBSA an opportunity to interrogate her and that such information was arranged to be shared with the RCMP and with the FBI,” Peck said.

Peck told the court that border officials handed Meng’s phone passcodes to the RCMP. They made efforts to obscure the nature of interactions with Meng and omitted details in documents including notes and declarations to fulfil that purpose, he said.

“Lifting language from the authorities, we refer to this as a ‘covert criminal investigation’ under the pretext of an admissibility exam for immigration purposes,” Peck told the court.

Peck also alleges Meng’s arrest is part of a history of American officials detaining Huawei employees at airports, pointing to “expected testimony” from a confidential witness who says her work laptops were searched or seized at ports of entry.

He argued that there’s enough evidence to suggest further documents exist to support the argument that Canadian officials acted as agents of U.S. law enforcement.

He pointed to an email that he said is from an FBI agent to a Canadian official.

“It says ‘Ben, thank you,’ — this is from the FBI — ‘thank you for all the work. Appreciate the co-ordination. As soon as a warrant is obtained, the information should be heading to RCMP and CBSA,’” Peck read to the court.

Her extradition trial won’t begin until Jan. 20 and she is free on bail while living in Vancouver.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vandekamp moving on from Cowichan Capitals

Head coach returns to AJHL’s Grande Prairie Storm

75-year-old woman rescued from Cowichan Lake

Victim taken to hospital, but expected to recover

City of Duncan to consider a 3.16% tax increase for 2020

But council may consider delaying discussion due to COVID-19 crisis

Spike in thefts in Duncan has police issuing advice

Police have noticed an increase in property crime in the Duncan area… Continue reading

Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Other Island hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients and will be used in a support role

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Most Read