A top executive of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies Co was granted bail by a Canadian court on Tuesday, 10 days after her arrest in Vancouver at the request of US authorities sparked a diplomatic dispute.
Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and the daughter of its creator, faces US claims that she tricked multinational banks about Iran-linked transactions, placing the banks at risk of violating US sanctions.
At a court hearing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Justice William Ehrcke awarded CAD 10 million ($7.5 million) bail to Meng, that has been detained since her arrest on December 1. The courtroom erupted in applause when the decision was declared.
Among terms of her bail, the 46-year-old executive should wear an ankle monitor and stay at home from 11pm to 6am. Five friends pledged equity in their houses and other money for a guarantee she won’t flee.
In case a Canadian judge rules the situation against Meng is strong enough, Canada’s justice minister must next decide whether to extradite her into america. If that’s the case, Meng would face US charges of conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions, using a maximum sentence of 30 years for each charge.
The arrest of Meng has set a further dampener on Chinese relations with the United States and Canada in a time when tensions were already high over a continuous trade war and US accusations of Chinese hacking.
US President Donald Trump told Reuters on Tuesday he would intervene at the US Justice Department’s case against Meng whether it would serve national security interests or assist shut a trade deal with China.
China had threatened severe consequences unless Canada released Meng immediately, and analysts have said retaliation from Beijing within the arrest was probably.
The US State Department is considering issuing a travel warning to the citizens, two sources said on Tuesday.
The Canadian government was contemplating issuing a similar warning, Canada’s CTV network reported. Reuters was not able to validate the report.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Canadian government said that among its citizens in China was arrested.
Two sources told Reuters the person arrested was former diplomat Michael Kovrig.
However, Guy Saint-Jacques, Canada’s former ambassador to China, asked by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp if the Kovrig detention was a coincidence, stated:”In China there are no coincidences… If they want to send you a message they’ll send you a message”
The Chinese embassy didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Meng, who was detained as she was changing planes in Vancouver, has said she’s innocent and will contest the allegations in the USA when she’s extradited.
Tuesday was the third day of bond hearings. Meng’s defence had argued that she wasn’t a flight risk, mentioning her longstanding ties to Canada, properties she owns in Vancouver and fears for her health while incarcerated.
Her family assured the court she’d remain in Vancouver at among her family homes in a wealthy neighbourhood. Her husband stated he intends to bring the couple’s daughter to Vancouver to attend school, and Meng had said she would be thankful for the opportunity to read a book after years of working hard.
“I am satisfied that on the particular facts of the case… the probability of her non-attendance in courtroom could be decreased to an acceptable level by imposing bail conditions,” said the judge, adding that he was also persuaded by the fact that Meng was a well-educated businesswoman with no criminal record.
She has to remain in Canada and also be accompanied by security guards when she leaves her residence. Meng will pay a cash deposit of CAD 7 million, with five guarantors accountable for a residual CAD 3 million when she absconds.
Meng was ordered to reappear in court on February 6 to make plans for additional appearances.
Huawei, which makes smartphones and network gear, said in a statement it looked forward to some”timely resolution” of this instance.
“We’ve got every confidence that the Canadian and US legal systems will achieve a just conclusion,” it said, adding that it complied with laws and regulations where it operates.
The case against Meng stems from a 2013 Reuters report about Huawei’s close ties to Hong Kong-based Skycom Tech Co, which tried to sell US equipment to Iran despite US and European Union bans.
Huawei is the world’s biggest supplier of telecommunications network equipment and second-biggest manufacturer of smart phones, with revenue of about $92 billion last year. Contrary to other big Chinese technology companies, it does much of its business overseas.