PM Trudeau says Ottawa had advance notice of Huawei CFO's arrest
As a prominent Chinese telecommunications executive fights for bail in Vancouver, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is denying his government had any involvement in her arrest.
Speaking to reporters in Montreal on Thursday, Trudeau said the Canadian government was notified of Meng Wanzhou’s arrest a few days before it happened, but said they weren’t involved.
“The appropriate authorities took the decisions in this case without any political involvement or interference,” he said.
Meng, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, was arrested at the Vancouver airport on Saturday after an extradition request from the United States.
The U.S. accuses Meng of deceiving American banks about the connection between Huawei, which is believed to be an unofficial subsidiary that allegedly has business dealings with Iran.
Meng denies the allegations and the company said it complies with all laws where it operates, including sanctions by the United Nations, the United States, and the European Union.
The Chinese government has condemned the arrest and its embassy in Ottawa has called for Meng’s immediate release.
When questioned by reporters, Trudeau said he hasn’t had any further conversations about the case with his Chinese counterparts. He refused to provide any other details about the case citing Meng’s bail hearing Friday.
“I can assure everyone that we are a country [with] an independent judiciary,” he said.
The arrest has threatened to enflame tensions between the U.S. and China. The two countries have been embroiled in a trade war that has seen both sides impose steep tariffs on each other’s goods.
Meng was arrested on Saturday, the same day U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping announced a temporary trade truce at the G20 summit in Argentina. News of the executive’s arrest caused stock markets to tumble over uncertainty the truce would last in light of Meng’s detainment.
The U.S. has been targeting Huawei, one of the largest global suppliers of network gear for phone and internet companies, over cybersecurity concerns. Huawei has been accused of engaging in commercial espionage for Beijing by Western governments; however, the company has denied any government involvement.
With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press
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