Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, released on bail on Tuesday to await a ruling on U.S. extradition at one of her luxury Vancouver homes, may have received welcome ammunition in court from an unlikely source – President Donald Trump.
As the hearing was winding up in a Canadian court, Trump told Reuters he would intervene in the U.S. Justice Department’s case against Meng if it would serve national security interests or help close a trade deal with China.
Legal experts and Canadian officials said the comments could allow Meng’s lawyers to contend her prosecution is politically motivated, an argument that would resonate in Canada where judges are particularly wary of abuse of the court system.
“He has handed her lawyers an opportunity to argue that the prosecution has been politicized and the extradition proceedings should end,” said Robert Currie, a professor of international law at Dalhousie University in Halifax. A Canadian official agreed that the comments could be raised.
Currie also said, however: “It’s not a sure thing.”
U.S. prosecutors accuse Meng, the chief financial officer and daughter of the founder of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL], of misleading multinational banks about Iran-linked transactions, putting the banks at risk of violating U.S. sanctions. Meng says she is innocent.