Chief Financial Officer of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou leaves her home in Vancouver, Monday, October 26, 2020. The RCMP officer who arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou three hours after she was detained at Vancouver’s airport says he didn’t arrest her sooner out of respect for the jurisdiction of the Canada Border Services Agency. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Chief Financial Officer of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou leaves her home in Vancouver, Monday, October 26, 2020. The RCMP officer who arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou three hours after she was detained at Vancouver’s airport says he didn’t arrest her sooner out of respect for the jurisdiction of the Canada Border Services Agency. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Officer didn’t alert feds that CBSA would examine Meng before arrest, court hears

It’s one of several allegations of wrongdoing that Meng’s team is lodging against the RCMP and the CBSA

The RCMP officer who arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver’s airport says he didn’t know how long questioning by Canada Border Services Agency officials would delay her arrest.

Const. Winston Yep testified in B.C. Supreme Court Tuesday in the extradition case of Meng, whose lawyers are trying to show her arrest two years ago was unlawful and she should not be extradited to the U.S. on allegations of fraud.

“We didn’t know how long it was going to take,” Yep said. “We were not going to interfere with their examination.”

Yep also admitted under cross-examination that he failed to correct an affidavit prepared for him to sign that included a line saying Meng had no known connection to Canada, after border officials told him she had two homes in Vancouver.

Yep is the first in a series of witnesses called to testify this week at the request of Meng’s defence team, which is gathering evidence for arguments it will make next year that she was subjected to an abuse of process.

The defence has alleged there was a “co-ordinated strategy” to have the RCMP delay her arrest so border officials could question Meng for three hours under the pretence of a routine immigration exam.

It’s one of several allegations of wrongdoing that Meng’s team is lodging against the RCMP and the CBSA, along with accusations they kept intentionally poor notes and failed to arrest her immediately according to the warrant’s requirements.

READ MORE: RCMP officer says nothing unusual in U.S. request to arrest Huawei’s CFO

During questioning by Crown attorney John Gibb-Carsley on Monday, Yep told the court that the RCMP shares information with the CBSA as well as foreign agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States, subject to certain restrictions like personal information.

Yep testified that border officials told him before Meng was detained that she had two homes in Vancouver and they had concerns about her immigration status. He said they agreed CBSA would conduct its screening first after Meng landed in Canada, then Yep would make the arrest.

In cross-examination, defence lawyer Richard Peck questioned why Yep didn’t raise concerns about the affidavit he signed earlier when he learned of her Vancouver homes. Yep swore in the affidavit, which was required to execute the warrant, that he had knowledge of the case.

“If you knew she had ties to Canada … that would be the right thing for you to do, yes?”

“Yes, but I did not prepare the affidavit and it was my error in not recognizing that,” Yep responded.

He said he did not take any steps to verify the contents of the affidavit beyond reviewing a case summary provided to him at the same time.

Peck also asked Yep why he didn’t arrest Meng immediately after the plane landed or during a 13-minute window while she waited in a screening room before border officials questioned her.

“It could have been just as easy for you to arrest her as she stepped off that plane and handed her over to CBSA to do whatever they had to do and then take her away. That way she had her rights, charter rights,” Peck said.

Yep said that wasn’t discussed. He wanted to respect CBSA’s jurisdiction at the airport and believed he was still abiding by the arrest warrant’s stipulations for an “immediate” arrest, he said.

“My interpretation of ‘immediately’ is ‘as soon as practicable,’” he said.

The court heard the Department of Justice provided Yep with instructions on how to execute the arrest that included locating Meng, confirming her identity, arresting her and informing her of her rights.

Peck asked Yep if he alerted the Department of Justice that the CBSA would question Meng before he arrested her.

Yep said he did not.

Amy Smart, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

HuaweiMeng extradition

Just Posted

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased in Parksville

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Map of the site of a proposed 60-unit building project in French Creek. (RDN map)
Legal counsel wants board to award development permit for French Creek project

Issue is on agenda for RDN board meeting on June 22

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read