Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Huawei CFO wanted for fraud in USA, bail hearing told

Huawei CFO wanted for fraud in USA, bail hearing told

During her bail hearing, a prosecutor for the Canadian government said US charges against her have to do with Huawei using an unofficial subsidiary to access the Iran market in dealings that would contravene USA sanctions.

Meng faces charges of fraud in the U.S. for allegedly misrepresenting Huawei's relationship with Hong Kong-based Skycom, according to evidence read in court on Friday.

The prosecutor said Meng had personally denied to United States bankers any direct connections between Huawei and SkyCom, when in fact "SkyCom is Huawei".

Far from being a separate company, SkyCom was used as a front for Huawei to do business with Iran, prosecutors alleged at a bail hearing for the accused executive.

The lawyer suggested that Meng has shown a pattern of avoiding the USA since becoming aware of the investigation into the matter, has access to vast wealth and connections, and therefore could flee Canada.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, daughter of the company's founder, was arrested last Saturday in Canada.

Meng's detention in Canada came on the day of a summit at which US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed to a truce in the escalating trade dispute opposing the two economic powerhouses.

Before her dramatic arrest in Canada, few in the USA had heard of Meng Wanzhou. "The United States is encouraging western allies to essentially push Huawei out of the emerging 5G network, and my personal view is that is something that western countries should be doing in terms of our own long-term security issues".


Huawei said on Wednesday that "the company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng".

Meng's lawyer, David Martin, disputed the prosecutor's call to deny bail, saying, "The fact a person has worked hard and has extraordinary resources can not be a factor that would exclude them from bail".

A Canadian court must decide if there is sufficient evidence to support the extradition, but then it is left to Canada's justice minister to sign the order.

"I can assure everyone that we are a country (with) an independent judiciary", Trudeau told a tech conference in Montreal.

In January 2013, Reuters reported that Skycom, which attempted to sell embargoed Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to Iran's largest mobile-phone operator, had much closer ties to Huawei than previously known.

Huawei's affordable smartphones have made strong inroads in the developing world, but the company has faced repeated setbacks in major Western economies over security concerns.

Asked this week about a possible Canadian ban on Huawei, Trudeau said he would defer to the advice of his intelligence agencies.

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