Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday expressed frustration at the ongoing dispute between China and Canada over whether Canada could free Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at Beijing’s request.
Mr Trudeau also accused China of “retaliation” for later arresting and locking Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor – one of the most blatant statements from Ottawa since the saga began.
China has said for more than a year that relations with Canada will not return to normal until Meng, a leading Chinese technology executive, is allowed to go home. The Chinese embassy in Ottawa accused Canada of participating in a “political conspiracy” to weaken Huawei and reject Trudeau’s statement that he had no role in this famous case.
Canada stated that Meng was arrested in December, 2018, because of an extradition request from the United States – based on the old agreement – and would depend on the country’s independent court to decide whether he would be released or handed over to Washington.
Shortly after Meng was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in December, 2018, China locked two Canadians known as retaliation. Mr. Kovrig, former Canadian diplomat, and Mr. Spavor, a Canadian entrepreneur, remains in Chinese prisons to this day.
Mr. Trudeau told reporters at a news conference on Thursday that Beijing did not seem to understand how the Canadian legal system operates.
He was asked to discuss the matter after being asked about the ongoing efforts of the Chinese government to urge Mr. Meng’s release.
“Canada has an independent justice system that functions without interference or defeat by politicians,” Trudeau said.
“This is one thing that Canadians love in our system: to keep it strong and ensure the distribution of power in our democracy.”
Then, the Prime Minister then took China to his assignment.
“China does not work the same way and [doesn’t] seems to understand that we have an independent judiciary [free] from political intervention, “he said.
He stressed Canada would not interfere in Meng’s case.
“We will continue to … uphold the independence of our justice system while we advocate the release of two Michaels who have been arbitrarily detained by China in retaliation for an independent justice system in its function.”
Mr. Meng was released on bail of $ 10 million while his extradition case remained in court. He could not leave the Vancouver area and had to wear an electronic monitoring anklet.
The United States has requested extradition on fraud charges related to alleged violations of sanctions against Iran.
US authorities accuse Meng and other Huawei executives of lying to banks so that they will delete transactions with Iran through the US, despite US sanctions against doing business with Iran.
On Thursday, the British Columbia Supreme Court announced Chief Justice Heather Holmes on May 27 that he would release his decision on the “double criminality” legal argument made by Meng’s team.
His lawyer said extradition did not pass the “double criminality” test: the indictment he faced in the US must also be considered a crime in Canada. This is a key requirement in the Canada-U.S. extradition agreement.
Fraud is a crime in both countries, but defense lawyer Richard Peck believes that because Canada imposed its own sanctions on Iran in 2016, its actions will not be illegal here.
Find out what’s happening in the power hall with today’s political headlines and comments selected by Globe editors (customers only). Register today.
to request modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]