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Marathon extradition hearings of Huawei exec over

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Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou leaves the British Columbia Supreme Court with her security detail on August 18, 2021, in Vancouver, Canada, after her last extradition hearing. AFP

Marathon extradition hearings of Huawei exec over

Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s fight in a Canadian court against extradition to the US to face fraud and conspiracy charges wrapped up on August 18 after nearly 1,000 days of legal wranglings and diplomatic brawls.

The daughter of Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of the Chinese company, is accused of defrauding HSBC Bank by falsely misrepresenting links between Huawei and Skycom, a subsidiary that sold telecoms equipment to Iran, putting the bank at risk of violating US sanctions against Tehran, as it continued to clear US dollar transactions for Huawei.

Supreme Court of British Columbia Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes said she will on October 21 likely set a date to deliver her ruling.

If transferred to the US for trial and subsequently convicted, Meng could face more than 30 years in a US prison.

Her arrest in December 2018 during a stopover in Vancouver caused a deep diplomatic rift between Ottawa and Beijing, which has accused Washington of trying to crush its international tech giant Huawei.

Days later China detained two Canadians, businessman Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig.

Both were tried in March for espionage – charges that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said were “trumped up”. Last week Spavor was sentenced to 11 years in prison as the final arguments in Meng’s case got underway.

Meng’s extradition hearing in the last week heard her lawyers reject the US allegations against her, accuse Canadian and US officials of abuse of process and call for her release.

Canadian government lawyers representing US interests countered that there is sufficient evidence to commit Meng for extradition.

A final decision rests with Canada’s attorney general.

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