Chief Financial Officer of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou leaves her home in Vancouver, Monday, October 26, 2020. The RCMP officer who arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou three hours after she was detained at Vancouver’s airport says he didn’t arrest her sooner out of respect for the jurisdiction of the Canada Border Services Agency. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Chief Financial Officer of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou leaves her home in Vancouver, Monday, October 26, 2020. The RCMP officer who arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou three hours after she was detained at Vancouver’s airport says he didn’t arrest her sooner out of respect for the jurisdiction of the Canada Border Services Agency. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Officer didn’t alert feds that CBSA would examine Meng before arrest, court hears

It’s one of several allegations of wrongdoing that Meng’s team is lodging against the RCMP and the CBSA

The RCMP officer who arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver’s airport says he didn’t know how long questioning by Canada Border Services Agency officials would delay her arrest.

Const. Winston Yep testified in B.C. Supreme Court Tuesday in the extradition case of Meng, whose lawyers are trying to show her arrest two years ago was unlawful and she should not be extradited to the U.S. on allegations of fraud.

“We didn’t know how long it was going to take,” Yep said. “We were not going to interfere with their examination.”

Yep also admitted under cross-examination that he failed to correct an affidavit prepared for him to sign that included a line saying Meng had no known connection to Canada, after border officials told him she had two homes in Vancouver.

Yep is the first in a series of witnesses called to testify this week at the request of Meng’s defence team, which is gathering evidence for arguments it will make next year that she was subjected to an abuse of process.

The defence has alleged there was a “co-ordinated strategy” to have the RCMP delay her arrest so border officials could question Meng for three hours under the pretence of a routine immigration exam.

It’s one of several allegations of wrongdoing that Meng’s team is lodging against the RCMP and the CBSA, along with accusations they kept intentionally poor notes and failed to arrest her immediately according to the warrant’s requirements.

READ MORE: RCMP officer says nothing unusual in U.S. request to arrest Huawei’s CFO

During questioning by Crown attorney John Gibb-Carsley on Monday, Yep told the court that the RCMP shares information with the CBSA as well as foreign agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States, subject to certain restrictions like personal information.

Yep testified that border officials told him before Meng was detained that she had two homes in Vancouver and they had concerns about her immigration status. He said they agreed CBSA would conduct its screening first after Meng landed in Canada, then Yep would make the arrest.

In cross-examination, defence lawyer Richard Peck questioned why Yep didn’t raise concerns about the affidavit he signed earlier when he learned of her Vancouver homes. Yep swore in the affidavit, which was required to execute the warrant, that he had knowledge of the case.

“If you knew she had ties to Canada … that would be the right thing for you to do, yes?”

“Yes, but I did not prepare the affidavit and it was my error in not recognizing that,” Yep responded.

He said he did not take any steps to verify the contents of the affidavit beyond reviewing a case summary provided to him at the same time.

Peck also asked Yep why he didn’t arrest Meng immediately after the plane landed or during a 13-minute window while she waited in a screening room before border officials questioned her.

“It could have been just as easy for you to arrest her as she stepped off that plane and handed her over to CBSA to do whatever they had to do and then take her away. That way she had her rights, charter rights,” Peck said.

Yep said that wasn’t discussed. He wanted to respect CBSA’s jurisdiction at the airport and believed he was still abiding by the arrest warrant’s stipulations for an “immediate” arrest, he said.

“My interpretation of ‘immediately’ is ‘as soon as practicable,’” he said.

The court heard the Department of Justice provided Yep with instructions on how to execute the arrest that included locating Meng, confirming her identity, arresting her and informing her of her rights.

Peck asked Yep if he alerted the Department of Justice that the CBSA would question Meng before he arrested her.

Yep said he did not.

Amy Smart, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

HuaweiMeng extradition

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

Just Posted

Highway 20 is now open but conditions are still challenging (Dawson Road Maintenance photo)
Some customers still without power as additional crews brought in to help

Trees continued to fall onto lines even after the actual storm had passed

The exposure occurred on 24th, 25th, & 26th November 2020, and affects Grade 7, 8, 9, 10 (file photo)
COVID-19 case confirmed at Acwsalcta School

The exposure occurred on 24th, 25th, & 26th November 2020, and affects Grade 7, 8, 9, 10.

A convoy of vehicles passes through Heckman Pass on Highway 20 as cleanup operations continued Saturday. Dawson Road Maintenance is asking motorists to watch for crews and equipment working throughout the area. (Dawson Road Maintenance photo/Facebook)
Highway 20 reopens between Anahim Lake and Bella Coola after winter storm Friday

“We appreciate your patience as we continue to clear wood debris and widen sections of the road.”

Bella Coola RCMP are alerting residents that the road between 4 Mile subdivision and downtown will be closed until at least tomorrow. (File image)
Winter storm closes 4 Mile to downtown road in Bella Coola

Police it will remain closed until Saturday, at least

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Most Read