Meng Wanzhou wins right to more documents involving arrest at Vancouver airport

Defence lawyers allege the Huawei executive was unlawfully detained, searched and interrogated

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 B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break from a hearing, in Vancouver, on Thursday October 3, 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 B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break from a hearing, in Vancouver, on Thursday October 3, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou has won an application for more documents to be disclosed as she alleges she faced an abuse of process during her arrest at Vancouver’s airport last year.

Justice Heather Holmes of the British Columbia Supreme Court says Meng has met the test for further disclosure but her ruling doesn’t predict or imply that the claim of an abuse of process will succeed in the extradition case.

“The test screens out applications to support abuse of process claims with no established air of reality to them, but it is not a demanding one,” Holmes wrote in the decision published online Tuesday.

Meng was detained on Dec. 1, 2018, for three hours by border guards who seized her electronic devices and passcodes before handing them to the RCMP when the police force executed a provisional arrest warrant.

READ MORE: Huawei’s Meng ‘no longer fears unknown’ despite ‘torment, struggle’ of last year

The United States is seeking Meng’s extradition on fraud charges related to the alleged violation of sanctions against Iran. Meng and Huawei deny the allegations and the first part of her extradition trial is scheduled to begin in January.

There are also a number of hearing dates set in June, when her lawyers plan to argue that the Canada Border Services Agency, the RCMP and the Federal Bureau of Investigation violated her rights.

The lawyers allege she was unlawfully detained, searched and interrogated as part of a plan between Canadian and American authorities to have border officers misuse their customs and immigration powers to covertly collect evidence for the FBI.

The allegations have not been proven in court. But at a hearing earlier this fall, defence lawyers argued there was enough of an “air of reality” to the claims for further documents to be disclosed.

In her ruling granting the defence’s request, Holmes says the Crown and defence largely see eye to eye on the main events leading up to and during Meng’s arrest. However, she says they diverge significantly on the inferences they draw from those events.

“In certain areas where the parties rely on competing inferences from notable gaps in the evidence, I view the evidence tendered by the Attorney General to address those gaps as strategic in its character yet impoverished in its substance,” she wrote.

For example, documents released by the Attorney General so far don’t explain why border guards made what the Crown has characterized as an “error” of illegally turning over Meng’s passcodes to the RCMP, or when and how that mistake came to light, she says.

READ MORE: RCMP originally planned to arrest Meng Wanzhou on plane, defence lawyers say

The documents also don’t adequately rebut the defence’s allegation that RCMP improperly sent serial numbers and other identifying details of Meng’s devices to the FBI, Holmes says. She describes the Attorney General’s evidence on this point as “similarly incomplete in its substance, despite its volume relative to the issue.”

The judge grants Meng access to numerous documents including any related to meetings or telephone calls on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 2018, about the co-ordination of her arrest.

Meng also won access to correspondence between Nov. 28 and Dec. 5, 2018, between RCMP and U.S. law enforcement members related to her arrest, and a list describing any documents withheld or redacted to date, stating the reason for the redaction.

Meng’s arrest has sparked a diplomatic crisis between China and Canada.

Beijing was seen to be retaliating when it detained Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who have been in custody for a year without seeing their families or a lawyer. On Tuesday, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman said the cases have been sent “for investigation and prosecution” on national security allegations.

The Canadian Press

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

Movie crews filmed a holiday parade in Summerland in July. The parade, filmed on Main Street in Summerland, is for the movie, The Christmas Yule Blog. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

Employees at The Bargain! Shop pose with Santa at last year’s toy drive. There will be no photos with Santa this year to keep him healthy for Christmas, but the toy drive will be back for a fourth year. (Claire Palmer photo)
Fourth annual toy drive fundraiser underway

The Bargain! Shop is looking to raise $5,000 locally

Friends with Dorothy opens in Victoria.
LGBT2Q+ lounge Friends with Dorothy opens second location in Victoria

The Kelowna-based lounge plans to open in Victoria mid-December

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 65 new cases of COVID-19

Province-wide, there are 887 new cases of the virus

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

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

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Former Vancouver Canucks goaltender Richard Brodeur discussing his paintings with the executive director of the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan Kirsteen McCulloch. (Contributed)
Former Canucks goalie King Richard’s art displayed at Kelowna gallery

Richard Brodeur starred in the Vancouver Canucks’ 1982 Stanley Cup run

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A confirmed case of COVID-19 at Vernon’s Silver Star Elementary School has been reported. (Google Maps)
COVID case confirmed at Okanagan elementary school

Member of Silver Star Elementary community in Vernon self-isolating at home; parents alerted Nov. 28

Real Canadian Superstore in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
Kelowna Superstore employee tests positive for COVID-19

The last day the employee worked was Nov. 23

Steve French caught the halo moon on his camera on Saturday night. (Steve French Facebook)
Did you see the halo moon last night?

The halo is actually millions of tiny ice crystals

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

Most Read