The case to extradite Sabrina Meng should be dismissed in the face of new evidence

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The court case of extradition of Huawei CFO Sabrina Meng to the United States has continued in Canada. Recently new evidence showing Meng's innocence has been brought out. Meng's lawyers failed in the UK High Court to gain access to relevant information kept by HSBC. However, their success in Hong Kong has led to the latest release of documents. Now her lawyers are seeking to have them admitted to Canadian court for the next stage of her extradition hearings, set to take place in August.

Meng is accused by the US authorities of lying to HSBC about Huawei’s relationship with Skycom. However new internal emails and bank documents give evidence that senior executives of HSBC were fully aware of the relationship between Huawei and Skycom. Senior HSBC manager, so-called "HSBC employee 7" in the court case, owns a "managing director" position and is the same person who has always been in charge of the risk evaluation of Huawei accounts in HSBC, including all the KYC procedures. Furthermore, he did not only know the relationship between Huawei and Skycom but also signed four risk evaluation reports to recommend HSBC to continue collaboration with Huawei. This also demonstrated that the US accusation of Meng's misleading PPT was not true. Records from HORIS (Head Office Reporting Information System), the internal customer management system of HSBC show that their system was fully aware of the relationship between Huawei and Skycom. Skycom is also managed under "Huawei Mastergroup" according to the record in HORIS.

When I first wrote about Sabrina Meng's case I called her the first victim of the US trade war on China, but she wasn't the last victim. Recently the United States authorities were caught falsifying a spying case against Chinese-Canadian Associate Professor Anming Hu as a part of the US's China Initiative campaign. The China Initiative was launched during the Trump administration's trade war against China, with a focus on prosecuting the theft of trade secrets. Anming Hu, a Chinese-Canadian Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) was arrested on February 27, 2020. In June 2021, the primary FBI agent on Hu's case stated that he falsely accused Hu of being a spy, baselessly implicated him as a Chinese military agent to UTK, and used false information to put him on the Federal No-Fly List. This false information led the university to fire Hu. The agent also stated he attempted to have Hu spy for the United States. Hu's trial for fraud ended on June 16, 2021, in a mistrial when the 12 jurors deadlocked after only a day of deliberations. Afterward, a juror characterized the trial as "the most ridiculous case" and the charges against Hu as "a series of plausible errors, a lack of support from UT, and ruthless ambition on behalf of the FBI." Hu has been just one of the dozens of scientists whom the US government has investigated over the years based on allegations that they were hiding their connections to China.

New evidence in Meng's case points that the Record of Case (ROC) that the US used to ask for the extradition is not valid. ROC stated that Meng had been involved in financial fraud because her misleading PPT was presented as the reference for HSBC to do the risk review. However, according to the latest evidence from an "HSBC witness B", the PPT was never submitted to HSBC global risk review committee. This new evidence on Meng's case and the example of Anming Hu's case should prove that Sabrina Meng has been a victim of the US's trade war against China and the extradition case against her should be dismissed. This would help to heal the damaged relationship between Canada and China.

As the United States struggles to hold on to its faltering economic and technological superiority, other countries can't be sure that similar methods won't be used against them when the White House decides to put "America First ' again. When the risks become too high some companies might avoid involving the United States in their business dealings at all. At the moment this is still hard to accomplish because the US dominates financial transactions, but with the digitalization of currencies such as the Digital renminbi, it could become possible. The United States should focus on restoring trust in it as a reliable business partner, as it has more to gain than lose from the trade with China. Trump was wrong on both counts when he declared "trade wars are good and easy to win".


Jari-Pekka Raitamaa

Founder and CEO of China Business Forum


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