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11 Dec, 2018 23:09

Trade war hostage? Trump ready to ‘intervene’ in Huawei CFO case if it helps close deal with China

Trade war hostage? Trump ready to ‘intervene’ in Huawei CFO case if it helps close deal with China

US President Trump said he might intervene on behalf of Huawei's CFO if it benefits US trade interests with China. Meng Wanzhou, whose bail includes strict conditions, faces extradition to the US and up to 30 years in prison.

“If I think it’s good for what will certainly be the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing – what’s good for national security – I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary,” Trump told Reuters. He has spoken with the Justice Department and Chinese officials about Meng’s case.

On Tuesday, a Canadian judge granted bail to Meng, who was arrested 10 days ago while changing planes at Vancouver airport. She faces “multiple criminal charges” in the US, linked to alleged breaches of Washington’s unilateral sanctions against Iran.

Meng’s bail, already steep at C$10 million including C$7.5 million cash, also included five sureties or guarantors. She is required to turn over all passports and travel documents and cannot apply for new documents. Additionally, she must be accompanied by a security detail when leaving her residence and is required to wear an ankle bracelet to ensure she does not leave her residence between the hours of 11pm and 6am.

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The Justice Department strongly advised against releasing Meng on bail, pointing to her family’s immense wealth and stating in an affidavit that she had already attempted to evade US arrest warrants for allegedly violating American and EU sanctions. The British Columbia Supreme Court judge also objected to her husband, Xiaozong Liu, serving as her legal custodian, given that he is not himself a legal resident of Canada.

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However, the judge acknowledged that Meng has no criminal record in China or elsewhere and that she was arrested on a provisional warrant. The US has not made an official extradition request.

The conditions of Meng’s bail require her to remain in British Columbia and live at one of her Vancouver homes. She must permit the security companies overseeing her monitoring to gain access to that home and pay for all security costs associated with her surveillance.

She is due back in court on February 6. In a statement, Huawei said it had “every confidence the Canadian and US legal systems will reach a just conclusion in the following proceedings.”

Meng faces fraud charges for allegedly using a shell company to violate US and EU sanctions against Iran and allegedly lying to banks about the link between Huawei and its subsidiary Skycom. She has maintained her innocence in an affidavit.

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