B.C. judges approves release of video, affidavits ahead of Huawei exec’s trial

Meng Wanzhou’s extradition trial is set to begin in January

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou who is out on bail and remains under partial house arrest after she was detained Dec. 1 at the behest of American authorities, smiles as she leaves her home to attend a court appearance in Vancouver, on Wednesday May 8, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A senior B.C. Supreme Court judge has agreed with what she calls a “somewhat unusual” request to provide documents and a video directly to media ahead of an extradition hearing for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes has told a brief hearing she agrees with both the defence and Crown that the interests of justice are best served by transparency in the high-profile case.

The materials in question include a memorandum of argument, three affidavits and video footage from Vancouver’s airport, where Meng was arrested last December at the behest of the United States.

The U.S. is seeking Meng’s extradition on fraud charges, but both she and Huawei have denied any wrongdoing.

The materials discussed today are exhibits her defence team plans to use as evidence in its request for access to further documentation during an eight-day disclosure hearing scheduled to begin Sept. 23.

Defence lawyers plan to argue Meng’s arrest was unlawful but have previously said they want access to audio and are requesting other material through freedom of information requests.

The court’s approval today follows a request from Holmes in March that the defence and Crown work together to find ways to lessen the burden that media attention has put on staff in the court registry.

Typically, media would apply through the registry for access to materials once they are registered as exhibits.

“It is somewhat unusual to provide the media copies of court material the instant they are filed, even though it will be weeks before the other party responds and the hearing takes place,” Holmes says.

“However, as counsel have noted, this case has attracted a very high degree of public interest and I agree with counsels’ assessment … that the interests of justice are best served by transparency in this instance,” she says.

The U.S. Department of Justice has laid charges of conspiracy, fraud and obstruction against Huawei and Meng, who is the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei.

Meng’s extradition trial is set to begin Jan. 20, more than a year after she was taken into custody.

She has been free on bail and is living in one of her multimillion-dollar homes in Vancouver while wearing an electronic tracking device and being monitored by a security company.

READ MORE: RCMP, CBSA deny searching Meng Wanzhou’s phones and other devices

Her arrest angered China and entangled Canada in a diplomatic crisis with the Asian superpower.

In the days after Meng’s arrest, Chinese authorities detained two Canadians on allegations of espionage.

The Trudeau government has repeatedly insisted Meng will be dealt with fairly and transparently by an independent judiciary.

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

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports fishing vessel personnel made the find on Saturday, Sept. 19

PQBeat: Do you remember your first television set?

Sharing memories of TV shows past and present

COVID-19: New air carrier sought for Qualicum Beach Airport

Island Express Air ends operation due to pandemic

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Most Read