By Moira Warburton
(Reuters) – Lawyers for Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] filed an application to a Canadian court to immediately stay the extradition proceedings of the company’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou to the United States, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.
Huawei spokesman Benjamin Howes said in an email that the company believes the extradition fails to meet the Canadian standard of double criminality.
Meng, 47, was arrested at the Vancouver International Airport on Dec. 1 at the request of the United States, where she is charged with bank fraud and accused of misleading the bank HSBC <HSBA.L> about Huawei Technologies’ business in Iran. She has said she is innocent and is fighting extradition.
The standard of double criminality means that the alleged conduct for which Meng was arrested in 2018 has to be illegal in both countries for her to be extradited.
Howes said the company is arguing that because Canada did not have sanctions against Iran at the time Canadian officials authorized commencing with the extradition process, double criminality cannot be met.
The application “doesn’t seek to challenge whether the facts behind the logic of this charge are true or not,” Howes said, noting that the company would challenge this during a sufficiency hearing to be held in September, 2020.
Meng’s extradition hearing is set to begin on Jan. 20, 2020.
(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto; Editing by Denny Thomas and Bill Berkrot)