After three days of hearings, the chief financial officer of Huawei Meng Wanzhou was granted bail in BC Supreme Court in Vancouver this afternoon, following her recent arrest at Vancouver International Airport. (YVR).
The CFO was arrested at YVR on December 1, while she was transferring flights and was sought for extradition to the US.
Following Meng’s arrest, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Geng Shuang responded to the news, demanding clarification regarding the reason for her arrest – as well as her immediate release – at a press conference last Thursday.
According to CNN, the US is claiming that Meng “covered up” violations of sanctions on Iran. This is also believed to have helped Huawei “circumvent US sanctions by telling financial institutions that a Huawei subsidiary was a separate company.”
US National Security Adviser John Bolton also chimed in on the case, claiming that his country has had “enormous concerns for years” about “the practice… of Chinese firms to use stolen American intellectual property.”
Huawei, he explained, is one company the US has been particularly concerned about.
According to the report, “Meng’s attorney said she would not breach a court order because doing so would embarrass her personally, and would also humiliate her father, Huawei and China itself.”
Meng is the daughter of Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei.
She has denied any wrongdoing in connection with the case.
“My father founded Huawei and I would never do anything that would cause the company reputational damage,” she wrote in a sworn affidavit. “I maintain that I am innocent of the allegations that have been levelled at me.”
Meng added that she does “not have a criminal record in China or anywhere, and has never had any problems with law enforcement in China or abroad.”
The bail hearing began last Friday with the Huawei CFO appearing in court for the first time.
On Tuesday, her bail was set at $10 million, with $7 million of that to be made in cash.
Meng is also expected to be back in BC Supreme Court court on February 6, 2019 for further proceedings, as the extradition process is expected to be a months-long ordeal.
Until then, she can’t leave BC, and much of the bail hearing focused on just how this would be enforced if bail was granted.
Ideas such as hiring a security firm to keep tabs on her, electronic monitoring and supervision were all brought forward, and in the end, the decision was made to place Meng under 24/7 surveillance (of which she must pay for).
The mother-of-four said in her affidavit that although she is a Chinese citizen and normally resides in China, her family has “extensive ties” to Vancouver — including owning two residences. And until further court proceedings, Meng must reside at one of these two residences.
In addition, she will be required to wear an electronic monitoring device on her ankle and surrender her passports.
In her affidavit, Meng said she would “abide by any condition imposed” and that breaching her bail conditions would “cause such damage.”
Following Tuesday’s court decision, Huawei released a statement, in which it said it has “every confidence that the Canadian and US legal systems will reach a just conclusion in the following proceedings.”