Huawei executive may challenge US extradition by insisting it is politically motivated

Meng Wanzhou is building a defense to fight extradition requests

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, CA

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, CA (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Meng Wanzhou is exploring a legal defense that could save her from extradition to the United States, The Globe and Mail reported on Monday.

The Chief Financial Officer of Huawei Technologies was charged with fraud that violated U.S. sanctions against Iran last month. She was arrested in Canada on Dec. 1 2018 after touching down at Vancouver International Airport, from where she intended to transfer on to Mexico.

The arrest led Canada to become embroiled in the ongoing U.S.-China diplomatic Cold War. China has since incarcerated two Canadian nationals, giving no clear reason for their arrest, and resentenced another citizen initially caught up in a drug-smuggling scandal to death.

The Globe and Mail says Meng may now fight the U.S. extradition request by claiming it is politically motivated. She is currently building a legal defense.

“The political overlay of this case is remarkable,” Meng’s lead counsel Richard Peck told the Canadian news outlet. “That’s probably the one thing that sets it apart from any other extradition case I’ve ever seen. It’s got this cloud of politicization hanging over it.”

The executive’s legal team is also weighing a defense based on whether her actions would be criminal according to Canadian law.

Such a defense would echo comments made by former Canadian envoy to China John McCallum prior to his resignation. McCallum claimed it would be “great for Canada” if the U.S. dropped its extradition request.

The former diplomat was urged to resign by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.