RCMP supervisor denies requesting Huawei CFOs phone passcodes

 theglobeandmail.com  11/26/2020 03:01:24   Sarah Berman

Chief Financial Officer of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, leaves her home in Vancouver, Wednesday, November 25, 2020.

Marissa Tiel/The Canadian Press

The Canadian police supervisor in Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhous arrest two years ago denied on Wednesday that police directed border authorities to hide from Meng that she was the target of an arrest warrant while they questioned her.

Defense lawyer Scott Fenton accused Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Sergeant Janice Vander Graaf of telling border officials to hide a sealed indictment and arrest warrant from Meng when she was interrogated on the day of her arrest.

The documents would have made her aware she was entitled to a lawyer.

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I have no recollection of that happening and I dont believe that happened, Vander Graaf told the court.

Meng, 48, was arrested on Dec. 1, 2018, at Vancouver International Airport on a warrant from the United States. She is facing charges of bank fraud for allegedly misleading HSBC about Huawei Technologies Co Ltds business dealings in Iran, causing the bank to break U.S. sanctions.

Her lawyers have argued that U.S. and Canadian authorities co-ordinated ahead of her arrest, using the extended investigative powers of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to interrogate her without a lawyer present before her arrest and passing the details of her electronic devices to U.S. officials.

Meng was interviewed for three hours by Canadian border officials before being arrested by the RCMP. Border agents wrote down serial numbers and passcodes for her devices.

Meng has said she is innocent and is fighting the extradition, arguing the abuses of process that her lawyers say occurred violated her civil rights and should invalidate it.

Vander Graaf pushed back against Fentons claim that she told border officials what to ask Meng, or how to conduct their examination. I dont know what they told Ms. Meng...We didnt tell them what to tell her, or what not to tell her, she said.

SHARING PASSCODES

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Previously, CBSA and RCMP officers have been called to testify specifically on the alleged illegal co-ordination between the forces and whether identifying details about Mengs devices were purposely shared with police and U.S. authorities.

CBSA officers previously testified in court that they noted Mengs passcodes as part of due diligence while interviewing her then gave them to the RCMP by mistake.

Vander Graaf testified on Wednesday that neither she nor any fellow officers requested the passcodes from the CBSA.

Witness testimony is set to last until Friday, with the potential for two to three more days scheduled in December.

Diplomatic relations between Ottawa and Beijing have deteriorated since Mengs arrest. China arrested Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig on espionage charges days later.

Mengs extradition hearing is expected to wrap up in April 2021.

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