July 27, 2020 / 10:59 PM / 14 days ago

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou demands release of spy agency documents linked to Canadian arrest

FILE PHOTO: Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou leaves her home to attend a court hearing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada May 27, 2020. REUTERS/Jennifer Gauthier

(Reuters) - Lawyers representing Huawei Technologies’ [HWT.UL] Meng Wanzhou, who is fighting against extradition to the United States, argued in a Canadian court on Monday that redacted documents prepared by the Canadian spy agency relating to her December 2018 arrest should be released.

The lawyers said national security should not limit the release of the documents, parts of which were made public during ongoing court proceedings over whether Meng, Huawei’s chief financial officer, should be extradited, court documents showed.

Meng’s lawyers have asked for additional documents from the Canadian government pertaining to her arrest, hoping to support their claim that Canadian authorities committed abuses of process during her arrest. The lawyers are pressing for a stay in Meng’s extradition.

Meng is accused by U.S. authorities of bank fraud for misleading HSBC about Huawei’s relationship with a company operating in Iran, putting HSBC at risk of fines and penalties for breaking U.S. sanctions on Tehran.

The documents in question relate to communications between the FBI and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and show the involvement of the Canadian spy agency in the arrest of Meng, which soured diplomatic ties between Ottawa and Beijing.

In a redacted document from Dec. 1, 2018, CSIS said it was advised by the FBI of plans to arrest Meng when she arrived on a flight at Vancouver International Airport later that same day.

Lawyers for the Canadian attorney general have released some of the requested documents, but claimed privilege over others, saying a full unredacted release of the documents would compromise national security.

“National security privilege should not be used to cover up abuse,” Meng’s lawyers wrote in a submission outlining their arguments. “Additionally, national security privilege should not be used to protect government enforcement officials from being embarrassed.”

A special closed hearing of the case will resume in the federal court on Thursday, during which the Canadian government’s lawyers will produce the redacted documents, to be reviewed by a court-approved representative for Meng’s legal team to assist the court to decide whether to release the documents in its entirety.

Reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto; Editing by Tom Brown and Peter Cooney

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