Huawei lawyers ask if Canadian border agent had reasonable grounds to issue warrant to CFO
VANCOUVER (CANADA) – A Canadian border official who was part of the interrogation of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou testified on Friday there were no reasonable grounds to believe she should have been denied entry to the country, adding that he felt the border agency’s warrant to detain her was still justified.
Huawei lawyers are seeking to prove in a Canadian court that the investigation by Canada’s border agency two years ago at Vancouver International Airport resulted in abuse of process that should get her extradition to the United States thrown out.
Prosecutors and witnesses from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have countered that Meng’s investigation and arrest followed usual procedures.
On Friday, defence lawyer Mona Duckett confronted CBSA agent Sowmith Katragadda about a document he signed, which included a declaration that he had reasonable grounds to believe she should be denied entry to Canada and therefore could be arrested with an immigration warrant.
When asked if he had reasonable grounds, Katragadda replied, “At the time, no I did not.”
He countered that he did not choose the wording of the paperwork and believed there was still justification for the immigration warrant.
CBSA officials have previously testified they were concerned about Meng fleeing the country if the RCMP did not arrest her.
Meng, 48, was arrested on charges of bank fraud from the United States, where she is accused of misrepresenting Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s dealings with Iran, putting one of its lenders, HSBC, at risk of violating US trade sanctions.
She has denied the charges and sought to have her extradition thrown out because of alleged collusion between Canadian and US authorities among other reasons.