Nothing ‘routine’ about Meng Wanzhou’s treatment at Vancouver airport: Defence

Defence lawyers argued Meng was the subject of an abuse of process

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who is out on bail and remains under partial house arrest after she was detained last year at the behest of American authorities, leaves her home to attend a court hearing in Vancouver, on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

A lawyer for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou denies her defence team is on a “fishing expedition” for documents to support its case.

Scott Fenton told the B.C. Supreme Court on Tuesday that the team is not relying on conjecture, guess work or wishful thinking when it asks the court to compel the Attorney General of Canada to release further documents related to Meng’s arrest at Vancouver’s airport last December.

“We are not on a proverbial fishing expedition in any way,” Fenton said, adding that the defence will offer a more narrow and specific request for access Wednesday.

Meng’s legal team is arguing for further disclosure in an ongoing hearing ahead of Meng’s extradition trial, which begins in January.

Fenton said the defence must convince Justice Heather Holmes that there is an “air of reality” to their allegations, including that Meng was the subject of an abuse of process, in order to compel further disclosure from the Crown.

Canada’s attorney general has not yet presented its response in court but documents show it will argue that officials followed the law when they detained the top Chinese tech executive and the defence has no proof to substantiate its “conspiracy theory” that she was illegally arrested.

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

Meng was arrested Dec. 1, 2018, at the request of the United States, which is seeking her extradition on fraud charges in violation of sanctions with Iran. Both Meng and Chinese tech giant Huawei have denied any wrongdoing and none of the allegations have been tested in court.

The arrest of Meng, who is the chief financial officer of Huawei and the daughter of the company’s founder, sparked a diplomatic crisis between Canada and China. She is free on bail and living in Vancouver.

Another defence lawyer, Richard Peck, told the court Tuesday that there was nothing “routine” about the way Meng was questioned by border officials before she was read her rights and informed of her arrest at the airport.

He pointed to a solemn declaration sworn by a border official that says Meng repeatedly asked why she was taken for secondary screening and that he questioned Meng about her business activity in Iran.

Peck also presented video showing that neither he nor another border official standing by took notes of the conversation, even though the second official had “meticulously” taken notes during other portions of Meng’s detention in the screening area.

Part of the defence team’s argument will allege that the official intentionally failed to properly document their process.

The deputy minister of justice and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were also briefed on the arrest, he noted.

“There is nothing routine about this,” Peck told the court.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 24, 2019.

Amy Smart, The Canadian Press

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

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

MISSING TEEN: Williams Lake RCMP ask public’s help in finding Angel Emile

Emile was last seen on Windmill Crescent in Williams Lake Jan. 16

B.C. Indigenous communities receive funding for hands-on trades training

Nuxalk, Witset, Penticton Indian Band, TRU Williams Lake, and Camosun College among beneficiaries

Nuxalk College undertakes language digitization project

New tapes from over 50 years ago are set to be digitally transcribed

B.C. premier talks forestry, service needs with handful of northern mayors in Prince George

Prince George meeting completes premier’s tour of Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. James and Quesnel

Bella Coola under another winter storm warning

Freezing rain is expected by this afternoon

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

Uber, Lyft approved for ride-hailing in Lower Mainland

Kater Technologies Inc.’s application was rejected

B.C. man rescued after getting trapped headfirst in well as water level rose

The rescue involved crews from Oak Bay and Saanich

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

B.C. still struggling to control non-resident medical care fraud

Unpaid bills, out-of-province claimants a costly legacy of MSP

Most Read