The chief of staff of the Canadian Border Services Agency at Vancouver airport on the day Meng Wanzhou was arrested will continue with evidence in the trial of the release of Huawei’s chief executive this morning in B.C. Supreme Court.
But Supt. Bryce McRae will take part in a country that has changed in at least one basic way in the last two weeks: the country that wants to bring Meng back has elected a new president.
Observers are concerned to see what US President-elect Joe Biden has to say in a case in which the actions of current President Donald Trump have been highlighted.
Paul Evans, a professor at the School of Public Policy and International Affairs at the University of British Columbia, said there was no doubt that Biden would “continue the idea that China is a rival and a rival of tactics.”
But he believes incumbent bosses can take a conflicting approach – and are more willing to consider the interests of a Canadian partner in the face of China’s outrage over Meng’s arrest.
Fraud and conspiracy
McRae is one of 10 CBSA and RCMP police officers expected to testify in the coming weeks on the events leading up to and shortly after Meng’s arrest on December 1, 2018.
The witness began in late October and lasted for two weeks. It is expected to continue in the first week of December.
Meng’s lawyers hope to gather evidence from police for use in a February hearing in which they will argue that authorities in Canada and the United States plotted for CBSA to question Meng without a lawyer before the RCMP formally arrested the 48-year-old.
Meng, Huawei’s chief financial officer, faces charges of fraud and conspiracy to defraud a HSBC boss over Huawei’s control of a company under his control of violating U.S. economic sanctions.
Prosecutors say that relying on Meng’s false accusations that he continued his financial relationship with the communications giant, HSBC risked loss and prosecution for violating similar sanctions.
Codes transferred ‘by mistake’
CBSA police intercepted Meng on the jetway as he boarded a plane from Hong Kong in an area it was supposed to stop on its way to Latin America. They interrogated him for three hours and confiscated his technical equipment.
A CBSA officer who took two of Meng’s calls also asked for a passcode that unlocked both. In the evidence, he later claimed that he had transmitted the code to the RCMP by mistake.
Defense lawyers said the action taken by the RCMP and CBSA violated Meng’s right to a lawyer and to inform him of the reason for his arrest. They also believe that the RCMP later forwarded technical information about Meng’s devices to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Opposing the laws governing repatriation.
Witnesses in previous evidence said the RCMP respected CBSA’s sovereignty at the airport, and that CBSA officials then did their best to carry out the work that required them to assess Meng’s acceptance in Canada.
One CBSA official said he was concerned about any delays in Meng’s arrest as a breach of his contract rights. However, he denied the allegations in a statement issued Friday stating “Similar, baseless allegations concerning the media have been made more than once.
The End of the ‘Two Michaels’
Meng’s trial for the deportations is expected to expand until 2021, with the first major hearing coming in February when security forces have the opportunity to present arguments about arrests and two other allegations of harassment: political charges and allegations of US deliberate misleading Canada.
No matter who is in charge of the White House, Trump’s move will be forward and focused on the process because the security forces plan to oppose his proposal to use Meng as a negotiating strategy to secure a better deal in a trade war with China.
In court documents, lawmakers also quoted statements from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging the U.S. To ensure that any trade agreement answers the questions of Meng and two Canadians detained by China within a few days of detention.
Former boss Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor have been detained in China for almost two years and charged with probation. Trudeau’s government has condemned their imprisonment and – despite Chinese denials – most observers believe Kovrig and Spavor have been taken in retaliation for Meng.
Trudeau became the first world leader to congratulate Biden on his victory and in a text message after their interview, said they talked about working on certain challenges, including “China’s illegal detention of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.”
‘Enemy, rival, competitor and colleague’
Lynette Ong, a professor of political science at the University of Toronto, said she did not expect a change in governance that would change the way Washington views China. But he thinks the Biden presidency would be more receptive to Ottawa’s needs.
Evans said that when Meng was arrested under the Trump administration, the investigation that led to his indictment began under former president Biden, former US president Barack Obama.
Evans recently wrote about the deterioration of Canadian-China relations at the East Asia Forum, asking Ottawa to find a way to deal with China “as a rival, rival, rival and colleague.”
They are inseparably linked, even if the myth says there are two different ways to find solutions,” Evans told CBC.
Because the people of Trump and Mr. Trudeau and our government were playing them as if they were different things.”