Canadian ambassador to China said that Huawei's Chief Financial Officer, Ms.MengWanzhou who is being held in Canada could possibly make a strong case against her pending extradition to the U.S. The case would heavily rely on President Trump's politicization of the matter which is detrimental to the expected extradition.
While Speaking to a Chinese-Language media, the Canadian envoy to China, John McCallum made some comments that strongly insinuated Ms. Meng might after all not be extradited to the U.S.
Canada arrested Ms. Meng in early December last year at the request of Washington over claims that she had violated U.S sanctions to Iran. Despite the Chinese government demanding her immediate release, Ms. Meng is still under house arrest in Canada.
John McCallum was also seen on a Canadian Broadcast suggesting that Ms. Meng's defense could leverage the recent political comments by President Donald Trump to successfully defend her. By citing political involvement, Ms. Meng's defense team could build a solid case by basing their argument on political involvement, which could see her avoid being extradited to the U.S.
Last month, Donald Trump explicitly told Reuters that he would consider an intervention in Ms. Meng's extradition case if it could either help close a trade deal with China or serve in the best interests of the U.S national security. Following these comments, the Minister of foreign affairs in Canada, Chrystia Freeland, promptly sent Washington a warning over politicizing the extradition case against the top Huawei executive.
The Canadian envoy to China, further said that extradition would not be a satisfactory outcome. However, his comments might have sat well with the Donald Trump’s administration, which has quite a good relationship with Canadian Liberal Government.
Regardless of the position that the Canadian Government has taken of not wanting to interfere with its judicial independence, McCallum's comments on the issue seem awkward.
The Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau dodged questions directed to him concerning the case when responding to reports in Saskatchewan, by reiterating that the Huawei Chief Financial Officer can successfully put up a strong defense case under the Canadian Law.
The Conservative Party in Canada looks to mount a strong challenge for the Liberal Party during the elections this October since they deemed the recent comments by MacCallum on the case raised as “Questions Political Interference.”
According to McCallum, Canada does not impose similar sanctions on Iran as the U.S. This too could be used by Ms. Meng's defense team as they look to combat her impending extradition to Washington.
The formal extradition request is yet to be filed by the U.S Justice Department; they have until 30th of January to submit the request, which will take the Canadian authorities approximately 30 days to decide if an extradition hearing is necessary. Legal experts, however, expect that an extradition hearing will take place.
Adam Austen, a spokesman for the Canadian Prime Minister said, through an email, that Canada is devoted to its legal obligations and commitments and will, therefore, honor its extradition treaty with the United States.
The arrest of the Chinese Huawei top executive has affected the relations between China and Canada. As a result of detaining the Chinese Executive, China has arrested two Canadians due to what they considered as national security concerns. In addition, a Chinese court recently re-tried a Canadian citizen who was previously charged and jailed for drug smuggling, handing him a death sentence.
MacCallum has further said that the three possible solutions to this matter would be the United States making a deal with China, the kind of deal that would see the U.S drop Meng's extradition request. Second, going through with Ms. Meng's extradition request which would, in turn, take years, considering that her defense team would keep lodging appeals. Third, Ms. Meng being released by the Canadian authorities as a result of the court not finding her extradition necessary.
John McCallum, the current Canadian envoy to China, a former Canadian Liberal Minister, is not a stranger to making comments that raise eyebrows. He has made headlines for what may be seen as controversial comments in the past. He is perceived to be a very outspoken man.