B.C. judges approves release of video, affidavits ahead of Huawei exec’s trial

Meng Wanzhou’s extradition trial is set to begin in January

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou who is out on bail and remains under partial house arrest after she was detained Dec. 1 at the behest of American authorities, smiles as she leaves her home to attend a court appearance in Vancouver, on Wednesday May 8, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A senior B.C. Supreme Court judge has agreed with what she calls a “somewhat unusual” request to provide documents and a video directly to media ahead of an extradition hearing for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes has told a brief hearing she agrees with both the defence and Crown that the interests of justice are best served by transparency in the high-profile case.

The materials in question include a memorandum of argument, three affidavits and video footage from Vancouver’s airport, where Meng was arrested last December at the behest of the United States.

The U.S. is seeking Meng’s extradition on fraud charges, but both she and Huawei have denied any wrongdoing.

The materials discussed today are exhibits her defence team plans to use as evidence in its request for access to further documentation during an eight-day disclosure hearing scheduled to begin Sept. 23.

Defence lawyers plan to argue Meng’s arrest was unlawful but have previously said they want access to audio and are requesting other material through freedom of information requests.

The court’s approval today follows a request from Holmes in March that the defence and Crown work together to find ways to lessen the burden that media attention has put on staff in the court registry.

Typically, media would apply through the registry for access to materials once they are registered as exhibits.

“It is somewhat unusual to provide the media copies of court material the instant they are filed, even though it will be weeks before the other party responds and the hearing takes place,” Holmes says.

“However, as counsel have noted, this case has attracted a very high degree of public interest and I agree with counsels’ assessment … that the interests of justice are best served by transparency in this instance,” she says.

The U.S. Department of Justice has laid charges of conspiracy, fraud and obstruction against Huawei and Meng, who is the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei.

Meng’s extradition trial is set to begin Jan. 20, more than a year after she was taken into custody.

She has been free on bail and is living in one of her multimillion-dollar homes in Vancouver while wearing an electronic tracking device and being monitored by a security company.

READ MORE: RCMP, CBSA deny searching Meng Wanzhou’s phones and other devices

Her arrest angered China and entangled Canada in a diplomatic crisis with the Asian superpower.

In the days after Meng’s arrest, Chinese authorities detained two Canadians on allegations of espionage.

The Trudeau government has repeatedly insisted Meng will be dealt with fairly and transparently by an independent judiciary.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

‘It affects everybody:’ Trudeau’s brownface photos worry Wet’suwet’en chief

Skeena-Bulkley Valley Liberal candidate declines to comment on prime minister’s indiscretion

Upper Skeena Recreation Centre evacuated after ammonia leak detected

The leak was related to refrigerators responsible for ice maintenance of the skating rink

B.C. offers early retirement, training fund for forest workers

Communities eligible for $100,000 for permanent closures

WATCH: Jessica Patrick’s cousin Jacquie Bowes speaks at the Jessica Patrick Memorial March

The march commemorated the one-year anniversary of the 18-year-old’s unsolved death

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

Nanaimo beekeepers take down nest of invasive giant hornets

One nest eradicated at Nanaimo’s Robins Park, but there are still Asian giant hornets around

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

B.C. Premier John Horgan worried about ‘rise of racism’ in Canada

Asked to comment on Justin Trudeau’s ‘blackface’ incidents

Human case of West Nile virus reported on Vancouver Island

B.C. Centre for Disease Control confirmed case reported in August

Forestry watchdog warned B.C. government about Bamfield Road in 2008

Ombusman’s specific concerns re-surface in wake of bus crash that killed two students

Most Read