Canada’s ambassador to China said a top Huawei executive has a strong case to avoid extradition to the United States in remarks one of his predecessors said were “mind-boggling.”
Canada’s ambassador John McCallum told Chinese-language media in Markham, Ontario on Tuesday that Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou has “quite good arguments” including “political involvement by comments from Donald Trump on her case.”
Trump said last month he might abandon the Meng case in pursuit of a trade deal with Beijing. That led some to suggest the case has been politicized and the US is loosening its commitment to the rule of law and an independent judiciary.
“She has some strong arguments that she can make before a judge,” McCallum said in offering legal advice that shocked many in Canada.
McCallum also said Meng can argue against the extra-territorial aspect to her case and the fact that the allegations are related to Iran sanctions, which Canada did not sign onto.
If she is extradited to the US, the ambassador said: “That would not be a happy outcome.”
“And that would take years before it happens because she would have the right to appeal all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.”
McCallum said the US could make a deal with China in which it would no longer seek her extradition, or a Canadian judge could decide she doesn’t have to be extradited.
Meng was detained on Dec. 1 in Vancouver at the request of the United States over alleged violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran. She is currently under house arrest and China is demanding that she be freed.