Huawei exec faces USA fraud charges linked to Iran, court hears

Nellie Chapman
December 8, 2018

Meng's arrest is reportedly related to a US investigation into a plot to use the global banking system to bypass stateside sanctions against Iran, according to Reuters.

A prosecutor for the Canadian government urged the court not to grant bail, saying the charges against Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer (CFO) for Chinese telecom giant Huawei, involve USA allegations that Huawei used a sham shell company to access the Iran market in dealings that contravene United States sanctions.

A top Chinese telecommunications executive facing possible extradition to the United States appeared in court Friday as she sought bail in a case that has rattled markets and raised doubts about the U.S. being able to reach a truce in its trade war with China.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended Canada's arrest of Meng, saying politics played no part in the decision.

Meng Wanzhou is accused of "conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions" and if convicted faces more than 30 years in prison, a Canadian government lawyer said, in asking the court to deny her bail request.

The lawyer said that Meng had personally denied to American bankers any direct connections between Huawei and the subsidiary, SkyCom, when in fact "SkyCom is Huawei". Trudeau said at the time that he had not been in contact with China or its ambassadors about the case, CBC reported.

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On Friday, Beijing nevertheless alleged that Meng, known internally as the "princess" of Huawei and possible heir to the throne, had become a pawn in the dispute. A Canadian official authorized her arrest in November.

We'll soon know if the Canadian courts are amenable to that argument.

Among other things, it is working with Telus and Bell Canada to develop equipment for fifth-generation wireless networks that are expected to transform telecommunications around the world over the next decade or more. Last month, New Zealand refused a telecom company's request to use 5G technology from Huawei, citing national security concerns.

"These are organizations, ultimately, tightly tied to the Chinese security apparatus, and we think there are some real, serious issues there", Harper said.

CNN, quoting an unnamed official, said the United States saw the arrest as providing leverage in US-China trade talks - although White House trade advisor Peter Navarro has denied any link to the dialogue.

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