Canadian police say arrest of Meng Wanzhou ‘in accordance with procedure’, Meng’s lawyer’s team refutes: her fundamental rights violated

The hearing in the extradition case of Huawei’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou, was held again in the British Columbia Superior Court of Justice, and the hearing is expected to last five days, focusing on whether Canadian and U.S. authorities “abused the process” when they arrested Meng Wanzhou at the Vancouver airport in December 2018. The Canadian police involved in the arrest of Meng Wanzhou claimed at the hearing that the arrest was in accordance with relevant procedures, while Meng’s legal team argued that her rights had been violated, Reuters reported on 26 December.

Winston Yap, a Canadian federal police officer involved in the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, was reportedly questioned as the first witness at the hearing on 26 March. Winston Yap said he received the documents the day before the arrest and “didn’t know much about it (the case).” According to the original plan of action, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) were supposed to board the plane with a court-issued warrant for the “immediate arrest” of Meng Wanzhou, who was instead forcibly detained by the Border Services Agency (CBSA) for three hours after landing. Meng’s legal team argues that during her detention, U.S. government officials instructed RCMP and CBSA officers to conduct a deceptive and improper search that violated Meng’s basic rights. Responding to the question “Why not board Meng’s flight once it had landed?”, Winston Ye replied that the airport was under the jurisdiction of CBSA and it was therefore decided that CBSA would be the first to carry out its duties. He added that the procedure was “for security reasons” and that he was concerned about the potential risk to other passengers from arrests made on the plane.

In response, Huawei’s lawyer Parker said that Winston Yip’s concerns were disingenuous and that, as trained police officers, the RCMP should have been able to arrest Meng Wanzhou on the plane. Parker also stressed that Winston Yip’s written notes on the day of the arrest were “very minimal” and drew attention to the fact that Winston Yip did not write a chronological report of the day, as required by Canada’s extradition law.

Meng’s legal team also alleges that no lawyer assisted Meng during the three hours she was detained, that her electronic equipment was confiscated, and that Canadian and U.S. authorities “conspired to delay Meng’s arrest and to obtain information that would assist U.S. authorities in prosecuting her for fraud. Winston Yip admitted on 26 April that the RCMP, at the request of the United States, allowed the CBSA to seize Meng’s equipment and place it in a Faraday bag, which prevents data from being deleted remotely. Such bags prevent data from being deleted remotely. He added that the request was “part of the process”.

Meng reportedly entered the courtroom on 26 October for the hearing process, but was not questioned.