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Huawei’s CFO to seek stay on extradition

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China has upped the pressure on Canada for Meng's release

VANCOUVER/NEW YORK : Huawei's chief financial officer intends to seek a stay on extradition proceedings in part based on statements by President Donald Trump about the case, which her lawyers say disqualifies the United States from pursuing the matter in Canada.

Meng Wanzhou, 47, the daughter of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested at Vancouver's airport in December on a US warrant and is fighting extradition on fraud charges that she misled global banks about Huawei's relationship with a company operating in Iran.

Meng's defence lawyers said in a document that she has been unlawfully detained in Canada and that there is no evidence she misrepresented to a bank Huawei's relationship with a company operating in Iran called Skycom, thereby putting the bank at risk of violating US sanctions law, or that the bank relied on her statements. The bank has been identified as HSBC.

Huawei has previously said Skycom was a local business partner in Iran, while the US maintains it was an unofficial subsidiary used to conceal Huawei's Iran business.

Meng's defence lawyer Scott Fenton told the court that during her three-hour detention in December, Meng's rights "were placed in total suspension". She will next appear in court on Sept 23, when her defence will make more applications for disclosure. Meng's case has attracted global attention and sparked a diplomatic crisis between Beijing and Ottawa. China has repeatedly demanded Meng's release.

Huawei said in a statement on Wednesday that the criminal case against Meng is based on allegations that are simply not true, adding that the US-ordered arrest was "guided by political considerations and tactics, not by the rule of law".

Huawei and Skycom are also defendants in the US case, accused of bank and wire fraud, as well as violating US sanctions on Iran.

In recent weeks, China has upped the pressure on Canada and halted Canadian canola imports and suspended the permits of two major pork producers.- REUTERS