B.C. judges approves release of video, affidavits ahead of Huawei exec’s trial

Meng Wanzhou’s extradition trial is set to begin in January

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou who is out on bail and remains under partial house arrest after she was detained Dec. 1 at the behest of American authorities, smiles as she leaves her home to attend a court appearance in Vancouver, on Wednesday May 8, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A senior B.C. Supreme Court judge has agreed with what she calls a “somewhat unusual” request to provide documents and a video directly to media ahead of an extradition hearing for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes has told a brief hearing she agrees with both the defence and Crown that the interests of justice are best served by transparency in the high-profile case.

The materials in question include a memorandum of argument, three affidavits and video footage from Vancouver’s airport, where Meng was arrested last December at the behest of the United States.

The U.S. is seeking Meng’s extradition on fraud charges, but both she and Huawei have denied any wrongdoing.

The materials discussed today are exhibits her defence team plans to use as evidence in its request for access to further documentation during an eight-day disclosure hearing scheduled to begin Sept. 23.

Defence lawyers plan to argue Meng’s arrest was unlawful but have previously said they want access to audio and are requesting other material through freedom of information requests.

The court’s approval today follows a request from Holmes in March that the defence and Crown work together to find ways to lessen the burden that media attention has put on staff in the court registry.

Typically, media would apply through the registry for access to materials once they are registered as exhibits.

“It is somewhat unusual to provide the media copies of court material the instant they are filed, even though it will be weeks before the other party responds and the hearing takes place,” Holmes says.

“However, as counsel have noted, this case has attracted a very high degree of public interest and I agree with counsels’ assessment … that the interests of justice are best served by transparency in this instance,” she says.

The U.S. Department of Justice has laid charges of conspiracy, fraud and obstruction against Huawei and Meng, who is the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei.

Meng’s extradition trial is set to begin Jan. 20, more than a year after she was taken into custody.

She has been free on bail and is living in one of her multimillion-dollar homes in Vancouver while wearing an electronic tracking device and being monitored by a security company.

READ MORE: RCMP, CBSA deny searching Meng Wanzhou’s phones and other devices

Her arrest angered China and entangled Canada in a diplomatic crisis with the Asian superpower.

In the days after Meng’s arrest, Chinese authorities detained two Canadians on allegations of espionage.

The Trudeau government has repeatedly insisted Meng will be dealt with fairly and transparently by an independent judiciary.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Pride Festival just around the corner

The Fernie and Elk Valley Pride Festival is just around the corner,… Continue reading

Kootenay Learning Campus opens in Fernie

School District 5 celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the… Continue reading

Diamond of the Elk Valley turns 30

Island Lake Lodge, located only 14 km from Fernie, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Kootenay-Columbia incumbent MP responds to Trudeau brownface scandal

Stetski proud of NDP leader Singh’s reaction, which focused on people not power

It’s time for change, or not, say B.C. residents

Approximately 93 per cent of B.C. residents say time’s up for bi-annual… Continue reading

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Fernie Fire Department celebrates FireSmart education

“The greatest safety is a neighbourhood that is FireSmart,” said Alan Westhaver.

Trails in Fernie’s Ridgemont area reopen

Fernie Trails Alliance urging trail users to abide by and obey closures still in place

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Most Read