Ottawa has officially approved the start of the extradition process for Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. CFO Meng Wanzhou to the United States.
In a statement released this morning, the federal Department of Justice said it has issued an Authority to Proceed after “a thorough and diligent review of the evidence in this case.”
“The Department is satisfied that the requirements set out by the Extradition Act for the issuance of an Authority to Proceed have been met and there is sufficient evidence to be put before an extradition judge for decision,” the statement said.
Meng was arrested on a request by U.S. Department of Justice officials on Dec. 1 while connecting through YVR from Hong Kong to destinations in Latin America. The executive – daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei – is scheduled to begin extradition hearings on March 6, also in Vancouver.
U.S. Department of Justice said Meng and Huawei is accused of violating the terms of a trade embargo against Iran, in addition to stealing technological trade secrets from companies in the United States. Huawei has denied those claims.
Ottawa’s statement also states that – if the judge in the hearing decides Meng should be extradited to the United States – the Canadian Justice Minister would have to decide if Meng should be surrendered to U.S. authorities.
Under the Extradition Act and Treaty, Canada has to determine whether the charge would have resulted at least in a 1-year jail term had it been committed in Canada. The alleged conducts on which the extradition request is based must also be considered criminal in both Canada and the United States.
In addition, the statement said extradition will not be granted if it violates Meng’s rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The Meng case has sent Canada-China relations into the deep freeze, with Beijing arresting multiple Canadian citizens in China within weeks of Meng’s arrest. Both countries have also issued travel advisories for each other’s nations.