— Chinese tech giant sues Canadian government and police over arrest
Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officers of Chinese tech giant Huawei, is suing the Canadian government, its border agency and the national police force over her high-profile detention, saying they detained, searched and interrogated her before telling her she was under arrest.
Lawyers for Meng said on Sunday they had filed a notice of civil claim in the British Columbia supreme court. Canada arrested Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, at the request of the US, on 1 December at Vancouver’s airport. She is wanted on fraud charges that allege she misled banks about the company’s business dealings in Iran.
The suit alleges that instead of immediately arresting her, authorities interrogated Meng “under the guise of a routine customs” examination and used the opportunity to “compel her to provide evidence and information”.
The lawsuit also alleges Canada Border Service Agency agents seized her electronic devices, obtained passwords and unlawfully viewed the contents, and failed to advise her of the true reason for her detention.
She was only told after three hours that she was under arrest and had the right to legal representation, according to the lawsuit.
“This case concerns a deliberate and pre-meditated effort on the part of the defendant officers to obtain evidence and information from the plaintiff in a manner which they knew constituted serious violations of the plaintiff’s rights,” the claim says.
Meng is out on bail and living in Vancouver awaiting extradition proceedings.
On Friday, Canadian Justice Department officials gave the go-ahead for her extradition proceedings to begin. Meng is due in court Wednesday to set a date for the proceedings to start. It could be several months or even years before her case is resolved.
Meng’s arrest set off a diplomatic furor and severely strained Canadian relations with China. Beijing has accused Washington of a politically motivated attempt to hurt the company.
China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor on December 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng.
A Chinese court also sentenced a Canadian to death in a sudden retrial, overturning a 15-year prison term handed down earlier. Kovrig and Spavor haven’t had access to a lawyer or to their families since being arrested.
Nicholas Dorion, a spokesman for the Canada Border Services Agency, said it’s not a practice of the agency to comment on legal matters that are before the courts. A justice department spokesman referred comment to the border agency and a spokesman of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they were unlikely to comment Sunday.
She is currently living in Vancouver while on bail, and it could be several months or even years before her case is resolved.
Ms Meng’s arrest set off a diplomatic furore and severely strained Canadian relations with China.
Beijing has accused Washington of a politically motivated attempt to hurt the company, and also detained two Canadians in China in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release the executive.