Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and the daughter of its creator, faces US asserts that she misled multinational banks around Iran-linked trades, putting the banks at risk of violating US sanctions.
In a court hearing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Justice William Ehrcke awarded CAD 10 million ($7.5 million) bail to Meng, who was jailed because her arrest on December 1. The courtroom erupted in applause when the decision was announced.
Among conditions of her bail, the 46-year-old executive should wear an ankle monitor and keep in the home from 11pm to 6am. Five friends vowed equity in their homes and other money for a guarantee she won’t flee.
In case a Canadian judge rules that the case against Meng is strong enough, Canada’s justice ministry must then decide if to extradite her to america.
The arrest of Meng has put a further dampener on Chinese relations with the United States and Canada in a time when tensions were high within a continuous trade war and US accusations of Chinese spying.
US President Donald Trump told Reuters on Tuesday he would intervene at the US Justice Department’s case against Meng if it would serve national security interests or assist shut a trade agreement with China.
China had threatened acute consequences unless Canada published Meng immediately, and analysts have said retaliation from Beijing over the arrest was likely.
The US State Department is considering issuing a travel warning to its citizens, two sources said on Tuesday.
The Canadian government was considering issuing a similar warning, Canada’s CTV network reported. Reuters was not able to confirm the report.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Canadian government said that one of its citizens in China had been arrested.
Two sources told Reuters that the person detained was former diplomat Michael Kovrig. The Canadian government said it saw no explicit link to the Huawei case.
However, Guy Saint-Jacques, Canada’s former ambassador to China, requested by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp if the Kovrig detention was a coincidence, said:”In China there are no coincidences… If they want to send you a message they will send you a message.”
The Chinese embassy didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.
Meng, who was detained as she was changing planes in Vancouver, has said she’s innocent and will contest the allegations in the United States when she’s extradited.
Tuesday was the third day of bond hearings. Meng’s defence had argued that she wasn’t a flight risk, mentioning her longstanding ties to Canada, properties she owns in Vancouver and worries for her health while incarcerated.
Her family assured the court she would remain in Vancouver at one of her family houses in a wealthy neighbourhood. Her husband stated he intends to bring the couple’s daughter to Vancouver to attend college, and Meng’d stated she’d be thankful for the opportunity to read a novel after years of working hard.
“I’m satisfied that on the specific facts of the case… the probability of her non-attendance in court can be decreased to an acceptable level by imposing bail conditions,” said the judge, adding that he was also persuaded by the fact that Meng was a well-educated businesswoman without a criminal record.
She must remain in Canada and be accompanied by security guards when she leaves her residence. Meng will pay a cash deposit of CAD 7 million, with five guarantors liable to get a remaining CAD 3 million if she absconds.
Meng has been ordered to reappear in court on February 6 to make plans for further appearances.
Huawei, which makes smartphones and network gear, said in a statement it looked forward to a”timely resolution” of this instance.
“We’ve got every confidence that the Canadian and US legal systems will achieve a just conclusion,” it said, adding that it complied with laws and regulations where it operates.
The situation against Meng stems from a 2013 Reuters report about Huawei’s close ties to Hong Kong-based Skycom Tech Co, which tried to sell US equipment to Iran despite US and European Union bans.
Huawei is the world’s biggest supplier of telecommunications network equipment and second-biggest manufacturer of smartphones, with earnings of about $92 billion final year. Unlike other large Chinese technology firms, it does much of its business overseas.