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Huawei exec seeks to introduce docs at extradition trial

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Huawei Chief Financial Officer, Meng Wanzhou, leaves her Vancouver home to appear in British Columbia Supreme Court, in Vancouver, Canada on November 17, 2020. – Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou appeared for a new round of extradition hearings November 16 in Vancouver, as the two-year anniversary of her arrest by Canadian authorities approaches. (Photo by Don MacKinnon / AFP)

Lawyers for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on Tuesday sought to admit into evidence at her extradition trial documents they say could exonerate her from US fraud and corruption charges.

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The daughter of the company’s founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei is accused by US prosecutors of misrepresenting to HSBC bank close links between Huawei and a company that sold telecoms equipment to Iran in violation of US sanctions.

She has denied hiding Huawei’s relationship with Skycom, a former subsidiary, from HSBC.

“The new evidence shows that… junior employees and senior executives (at HSBC) knew all about the relationship between Huawei and Skycom,” Meng’s lawyers said in court documents.

Therefore, they argued, there was no fraud against HSBC.

In April, Huawei said it had reached an agreement with HSBC in a Hong Kong court to secure the documents, after previously failing to get them from a court in Britain, where HSBC is headquartered.

According to the original Huawei summons, seen by AFP, Meng was seeking HSBC bank documents on compliance, sanctions and risk evaluation, as well as records linked to a PowerPoint presentation she made to HSBC executives at a Hong Kong tea house in a bid to secure loans.

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HSBC said Tuesday they also include emails and other records.

The US case against Meng relies heavily on what was discussed at the tea house meeting.

The defense challenged this basis, saying it was “improbable… that a global bank relied on a single PowerPoint presentation to make a business decision about one of its biggest customers.”

If the documents are admitted into evidence, Meng’s defense team is expected to ask the British Columbia Superior Court to reject the US request to extradite Meng when the proceedings pick up again in August, after a break.

The new evidence, they said, shows that the crime scenario presented by US prosecutors “can simply no longer survive scrutiny.”

Therefore, they concluded, “there is no plausible case for committal” for extradition.

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