Nothing ‘routine’ about Meng Wanzhou’s treatment at Vancouver airport: Defence

Defence lawyers argued Meng was the subject of an abuse of process

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who is out on bail and remains under partial house arrest after she was detained last year at the behest of American authorities, leaves her home to attend a court hearing in Vancouver, on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who is out on bail and remains under partial house arrest after she was detained last year at the behest of American authorities, leaves her home to attend a court hearing in Vancouver, on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

A lawyer for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou denies her defence team is on a “fishing expedition” for documents to support its case.

Scott Fenton told the B.C. Supreme Court on Tuesday that the team is not relying on conjecture, guess work or wishful thinking when it asks the court to compel the Attorney General of Canada to release further documents related to Meng’s arrest at Vancouver’s airport last December.

“We are not on a proverbial fishing expedition in any way,” Fenton said, adding that the defence will offer a more narrow and specific request for access Wednesday.

Meng’s legal team is arguing for further disclosure in an ongoing hearing ahead of Meng’s extradition trial, which begins in January.

Fenton said the defence must convince Justice Heather Holmes that there is an “air of reality” to their allegations, including that Meng was the subject of an abuse of process, in order to compel further disclosure from the Crown.

Canada’s attorney general has not yet presented its response in court but documents show it will argue that officials followed the law when they detained the top Chinese tech executive and the defence has no proof to substantiate its “conspiracy theory” that she was illegally arrested.

READ MORE: Border officials, RCMP followed law in arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Crown says

Meng was arrested Dec. 1, 2018, at the request of the United States, which is seeking her extradition on fraud charges in violation of sanctions with Iran. Both Meng and Chinese tech giant Huawei have denied any wrongdoing and none of the allegations have been tested in court.

The arrest of Meng, who is the chief financial officer of Huawei and the daughter of the company’s founder, sparked a diplomatic crisis between Canada and China. She is free on bail and living in Vancouver.

Another defence lawyer, Richard Peck, told the court Tuesday that there was nothing “routine” about the way Meng was questioned by border officials before she was read her rights and informed of her arrest at the airport.

He pointed to a solemn declaration sworn by a border official that says Meng repeatedly asked why she was taken for secondary screening and that he questioned Meng about her business activity in Iran.

Peck also presented video showing that neither he nor another border official standing by took notes of the conversation, even though the second official had “meticulously” taken notes during other portions of Meng’s detention in the screening area.

Part of the defence team’s argument will allege that the official intentionally failed to properly document their process.

The deputy minister of justice and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were also briefed on the arrest, he noted.

“There is nothing routine about this,” Peck told the court.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 24, 2019.

Amy Smart, The Canadian Press

READ MORE: Border officials, RCMP followed law in arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Crown says

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Smithers District Chamber of Commerce coveted Alpine Man Statue for winners of the 2020 Community and Business Awards Nov 25. (contributed photo)
Smithers Feed Store named Business of the Year

Chamber of Commerce Community and Business Awards handed out in virtual ceremony via Zoom

The Terrace River Kings lost 9-3 to the Quesnel Kangaroos on Mar. 2, 2019 in the final CIHL playoffs. (Lindsay Chung Photo)
Central Interior Hockey League cancels 2020/21 season

League open to playing exhibition games if possible

Questions around rail safety, firefighter safety, cleanup near the rail yards and tracks, whistle cessation, etc were raised during the RDBN meeting with CN. (File photo)
Regional district frustrated with CN response to grievances

‘A lot of our concerns are still not being heard,’: Houston mayor Shane Brienen

Skiers and snowboarders enjoy the fresh, fluffy snow at Fernie Alpine Resort.
Ski hill scheduled to open Dec. 4

Hudson Bay Mountain Resort will open without its usual contingent of international workers

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

More than 60 cm of snow has fallen at Ulkatcho First Nation near Anahim Lake in the Chilcotin since a snowfall warning went into effect Thursday, Nov. 26. (Graham West photo)
VIDEO: More than 60 cm of snowfall in Chilcotin since Thursday, Nov. 26

Graham West of Ulkatcho First Nation captures the scene on video

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Most Read