It is now a year since Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, who is also the daughter of founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested at Vancouver Airport by the RCMP as she arrived from Hong Kong last Dec. 1 expecting to transfer to a flight to Mexico. It has created a crisis in Canada-China relations and led to the pay-back arrest of two Canadians in China.
The arrest was in response to a “provisional” (i.e. “urgent”) arrest warrant from the U.S. Department of Justice on fraud charges related to violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran.
The U.S. invoked the Canada – U.S. Extradition Treaty, signed in 1971 which is aimed at cross-border criminal activity, people for whom a warrant for arrest has been issued. Ninety per cent of cases, incidentally, are U.S. requests. About 90 per cent, according to DOJ officials, are acceded to. It was not meant for third-country interceptions, such as this case, though they are not excluded.