Arrested Huawei CFO potentially faces decades in jail

Huawei's Executive Board Director Meng Wanzhou attends the VTB Capital Investment Forum

She is specifically accused of lying to United States banks about the use of a covert subsidiary to sell to Iran in breach of sanctions.

United States prosecutors want a top executive of China's Huawei Technologies to face charges of fraud linked to the skirting of Iran sanctions, a Vancouver court heard on Friday.

A top Chinese telecommunications executive facing possible extradition to the United States appeared in court Friday as she sought bail in a case that has rattled markets and raised doubts about the USA being able to reach a truce in its trade war with China.

A lawyer representing Meng argued that she would not breach a court order and leave Canada because doing so would humiliate her father, Huawei and "China itself".

Meng faces charges of fraud in the USA for allegedly misrepresenting Huawei's relationship with Hong Kong-based Skycom, according to evidence read in court on Friday.

The lawyer said that Meng had personally denied to American bankers any direct connections between Huawei and SkyCom, when in fact "SkyCom is Huawei".

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters on a conference call on Friday that China had been assured by Canada that due process was "absolutely being followed".

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In a statement on Wednesday, Huawei said "the company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng".

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau told reporters on December 6 that he had been informed of the arrest a few days ahead of it taking place.

McCallum was clear that Chinese consular officials will have access to Meng "just as we seek consular access for detained Canadians around the world, including in China".

In January 2013, Reuters reported that Skycom, which attempted to sell embargoed Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to Iran's largest mobile-phone operator, had much closer ties to Huawei than previously known. So far, New Zealand and Australia have banned the company from their 5G networks; Britain has expressed concerns and is considering measures.

Earlier this week, Canadian officials said Ottawa was continuing to review Huawei's technology for use in upcoming fifth generation networks.

"[Huawei] is essentially under the control of the Chinese government", former chief of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Ward Elcock told CBC.

It's a case that could have potentially major implications for our country's relationship with China, and we're now finding out why the CFO of Huawei is wanted by the United States.

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