A Canadian judge has granted bail to a top Chinese executive facing possible extradition to the U.S. in a case that has led to the apparent detention of a former Canadian diplomat in Beijing and complicated high-stakes U.S.-China trade talks.
Justice William Ehrcke announced his decision to grant Meng Wanzhou bail Tuesday after 2 1/2 days of hearings.
Meng is the chief financial officer of telecommunications giant Huawei and also the daughter of its founder. She was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport on Dec. 1 — the same day that Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping of China agreed to a 90-day cease-fire in a trade dispute that threatens to disrupt global commerce.
The U.S. has accused Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment in Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. It also says that Meng and Huawei misled banks about the company's business dealings in Iran.
On Monday, China detained a former Canadian diplomat in Beijing in apparent retaliation.
Previously from Toronto:
A Canadian judge says he will announce his decision later Tuesday on whether to grant bail to top Chinese executive facing possible extradition to the U.S.
Justice William Ehrcke says he will give oral reasons for his decisions after lunch. The case has fueled U.S.-China trade tensions and roiled financial markets.
Meng Wanzhou is the chief financial officer of telecommunications giant Huawei and also the daughter of its founder. She was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport on Dec. 1 — the same day that Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping of China agreed to a 90-day cease-fire in a trade dispute that threatens to disrupt global commerce.
The U.S. has accused Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. It also says Meng and Huawei misled banks about the company's business dealings in Iran.
The ruling is set for 5 p.m.
The lawyer for a top executive at Chinese tech giant Huawei says his team worked through the night to make changes to its bail plan for Meng Wanzhou to help satisfy concerns that have been raised about her release.
David Martin says they contacted four potential sources to offer sureties for Huawei's chief financial officer and prepared affidavits after the judge and a federal prosecutor questioned whether Meng's husband would be a suitable person to ensure she complies with any bail conditions.
Martin says one person who is proposed to offer a financial guarantee is a realtor who met Meng in 2009 and sold two properties to the couple.
The man has pledged his home, valued at $1.8 million Canadian (US$1.3 million), and says he understands he would lose it if Meng violated the conditions of her release.
Martin also read from the affidavit of another man who says he worked at Huawei in China in the mid-1990s and got to know Meng on a personal level.
He is vouching for Meng's character to comply with any conditions imposed by the B.C. Supreme Court and has pledged $500,000 Canadian (US$373,000) from the equity on his home in Vancouver, which is valued at $1.4 million Canadian ($1 million).
Justice William Ehrcke questioned whether Liu Xiaozong could provide a surety because he is on a six-month visitor's visa to Canada and the form to provide the financial guarantee says it must be provided by a resident of British Columbia.
The U.S. wants Meng to face allegations of fraud as it says Huawei used unofficial subsidiary Skycom to do business with Iranian telecommunications companies between 2009 and 2014 in violation of sanctions. Meng has denied the allegations through her lawyer in court, promising to fight them if she is extradited for face charges in the United States.
Canada's public safety minister says the government is deeply concerned about a Canadian detained in China — confirming that a former Canadian diplomat is being held in Beijing amid a dispute between the two counties over Canada's arrest of a Chinese executive.
Minister Ralph Goodale said Tuesday the government is sparing no effort to look after the Canadian's safety. The comment came in response to a question about reports that former diplomat Michael Kovrig had been arrested in China, though he did not mention him by name.
The detention follows Chinese warnings to Canada of consequences for its recent arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver's airport.
Goodale said there is no explicit indication at this point that the cases are related and he said Canada is working to determine why he was detained.
A former Canadian diplomat is reportedly under arrest in China.
The International Crisis Group said Tuesday it's aware of reports that its North East Asia senior adviser Michael Kovrig has been detained.
Reports of Kovrig's detention come after China warned Canada of consequences for its recent arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver's airport. It's unclear if there's any link between the cases.
Yet former Canadian Liberal leader Bob Rae says the motivation for the arrest is clear. In a tweet, Rae calls it "repression and retaliation."
China's foreign minister is vowing to defend its citizens abroad as a Chinese executive arrested in Canada waits to see if she will be released on bail. Foreign Minister Wang Yi didn't mention the executive, Huawei's Meng Wanzhou. But a spokesman says the minister is referring to cases that included Meng's. Meng was arrested Dec. 1 in Vancouver on U.S. charges related to possible violations of trade sanctions on Iran.