Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and the daughter of its founder, faces US asserts that she misled multinational banks around Iran-linked transactions, placing the banks in danger of violating US sanctions.
At a court hearing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Justice William Ehrcke granted CAD 10 million ($7.5 million) bond to Meng, who was detained since her arrest on December 1. The courtroom erupted in applause once the decision was announced. Meng cried and hugged her lawyers.
Among conditions of her bond, the 46-year-old executive must wear an ankle monitor and keep at home from 11pm to 6am. Five buddies vowed equity in their homes and other money for a guarantee she won’t flee.
If a Canadian judge rules that the situation against Meng is powerful enough, Canada’s justice ministry must then decide if to extradite her into the United States. If that’s the case, Meng would face US charges of conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions, with a maximum sentence of 30 years for each charge.
The arrest of Meng has put a further dampener on Chinese relations with the United States and Canada in a time when tensions were already high within an ongoing trade war and US accusations of Chinese spying.
US President Donald Trump told Reuters on Tuesday he would intervene in the US Justice Department’s case against Meng if it would serve national security interests or assist close a trade agreement with China.
China had threatened acute consequences unless Canada released Meng instantly, and analysts have said retaliation from Beijing over the arrest was probably.
The US State Department is considering issuing a travel warning to its citizens, two sources said on Tuesday.
The Canadian government was considering issuing an identical warning, Canada’s CTV network reported. Reuters wasn’t able to validate the report.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Canadian authorities said that one of its citizens in China had been detained.
Two sources told Reuters the person arrested was former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig. The Canadian government said it saw no explicit connection to the Huawei case.
The Chinese embassy didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Meng, who was detained as she was changing planes in Vancouver, has stated she is innocent and will contest the allegations in the USA when she is extradited.
Tuesday was the next day of bond hearings. Meng’s defence had argued that she was not a flight risk, mentioning her longstanding ties to Canada, possessions she owns in Vancouver and fears for her health while incarcerated.
Her family assured the court she’d stay in Vancouver at one of her family homes in an affluent neighbourhood. Her husband stated he plans to bring the couple’s daughter to Vancouver to attend school, and Meng’d said she’d be thankful for the chance to read a novel after years of working hard.
“I am satisfied that on the particular facts of the case… the probability of her non-attendance in courtroom could be reduced to an acceptable level by imposing bail conditions,” said the judge, adding that he was also persuaded by the fact that Meng was a well-educated businesswoman without a criminal record.
She has to remain in Canada and be accompanied by security guards when she leaves her house. Meng will pay a cash deposit of CAD 7 million, with five guarantors liable to get a remaining CAD 3 million if she absconds.
Meng was ordered to reappear in court on February 6 to create plans for further appearances.
Huawei, which makes smartphones and network gear, said in a statement it looked forward to a”timely resolution” of this instance.
“We have every confidence that the Canadian and US legal systems will reach a just conclusion,” it said, adding that it complied with all laws and regulations where it operates.
Huawei is the world’s biggest provider of telecommunications network equipment and second-biggest manufacturer of smartphones, with revenue of approximately $92 billion last year. Contrary to other large Chinese technology firms, it really does much of its business overseas.