The Canadian Department of Justice has decided to allow the US to extradite Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese tech giant Huawei. Meng is wanted in the US for alleged financial crimes.
“Today, Department of Justice Canada officials issued an Authority to Proceed, formally commencing an extradition process in the case of Ms. Meng Wanzhou,” a Friday press release by the Canadian Department of Justice reads.
The Chinese Embassy in Canada issued a statement in response, saying China is “utterly dissatisfied with and firmly opposes” Ottawa’s decision.
Meng was arrested on December 1, 2018, in Vancouver, the US having issued an arrest warrant for her earlier that year. Released on C$10 million bail on December 12, she was given a GPS tracker and 24-hour security detail, to ensure she didn’t flee to her native China.
Meng is charged in the US with numerous financial crimes, including bank fraud and conspiracy to defraud the US government. The charges stem from her position on the board of Skycom, a subsidiary of Huawei that the US government alleges the tech giant used to get around trade sanctions against Iran. She has denied these allegations.
Meng’s extradition hearing is scheduled for March 6. However, the Canadian Justice Department warned that “An extradition hearing is not a trial nor does it render a verdict of guilt or innocence.”
“If a person is ultimately extradited from Canada to face prosecution in another country, the individual will have a trial in that country.”