Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday January 24, 2019
Canada’s ambassador to China says Meng has strong defence to fight extradition
Canada’s top diplomat in China says the Huawei executive arrested in Vancouver at the request of the United States has a strong case to fight extradition, a position that has prompted backlash from the Conservative opposition in Ottawa who say this sort of interference by an ambassador should not be tolerated by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Meng Wanzhou, the 46-year-old chief financial officer of the telecom giant, has “quite good arguments on her side,” John McCallum said at a news conference with Canadian and state-owned Chinese-language media in Markham, Ont., on Tuesday.
“One, political involvement by comments from Donald Trump in her case. Two, there’s an extraterritorial aspect to her case, and three, there’s the issue of Iran sanctions which are involved in her case, and Canada does not sign on to these Iran sanctions. So I think she has some strong arguments that she can make before a judge,” he said in his opening remarks.
McCallum said a judge will ultimately make the decision on whether she should be extradited, and stressed there has been “zero involvement” by the federal government.
“It’s purely a judicial process. There may come a time when the justice minister is required to give a view, but that will not be for some months to come,” he said.
“I know this has angered China, but we have a system of extradition treaty, a system of rules of law, which are above the government. The government cannot change these things, and as I said, I think Ms. Meng has quite a strong case.”
Despite those assurances, the Liberal government to this point has not weighed in on the merits of the case or offered an opinion on the possible legal avenues her counsel could pursue in court.
In fact, before McCallum’s remarks Tuesday, the government had studiously avoided discussing the facts of the case in public. (Source: CBC)