Video released of Huawei executive at Vancouver airport on day of arrest
Published Tuesday, August 20, 2019 8:25PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 20, 2019 9:28PM EDT
A video of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver International Airport on the day of her arrest has been released to the public following an agreement from the Crown and Meng’s defence team.
Following a hearing on Tuesday, both sides agreed to release the footage of Meng’s Dec. 1 arrest at the Vancouver International Airport, along with three partially redacted affidavits and a memorandum argument from the defense.
The airport security footage does not have audio, but Meng can be seen in a blue hoodie while she’s being escorted through the airport. In another part of the video, Canada Border Service agents are seen searching her luggage.
Meng was detained following an extradition request from the U.S., where she faces fraud charges for allegedly violating sanctions with Iran.
None of the allegations against her have been tested in court.
In the documents released Tuesday, Meng’s lawyers contend her arrest is a violation of her Charter rights.
Meng claims she was unlawfully detained for three hours during which officers searched her belongings. She also claims CBSA officers were conducting a "a covert criminal investigation," by telling her they were conducting a routine immigration check while they seized her electronic devices and forced her to give up her passwords.
Meng claims her arrest was an “abuse of process” intended to help the U.S. in an ongoing trade dispute with China. She cites U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments on Dec. 11 in which he said he “would certainly intervene” in the case if it helped secure a trade deal with China.
Meng’s lawyers want the court to issue a stay of the proceedings, but if that doesn’t work, they want the government to hand over all communications between officials in Canada and the U.S. about the case.
Richard Kurland, a Vancouver-based immigration lawyer not involved in the case, told CTV News he believes Meng’s defence team would want the footage of her arrest released to help make the claim that her rights had been violated.
“The defence would like that information circulated because it humanizes the client,” he said. “You can see tears, the shock, the awe of being subjected to intense CBSA questioning for hours.”
Days after Meng’s arrest, Chinese officials detained Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig and accused them of espionage. The move is largely considered retaliation for Meng’s arrest.
Tensions between China and Canada have escalated ever since and have spewed into the trade market, with China banning Canadian imports on beef, pork, canola and soybeans.
Meng’s extradition hearing is scheduled for Jan. 20, 2020.