Huawei says extradition case against top executive is about politics

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The case has been a flashpoint for already strained US-China relations. And there’s no end in sight.

Meng Wanzhou, the Huawei CFO, was detained by Canadian authorities five months ago and faces extradition to the United States. Meng and Huawei face a number of charges, including bank fraud, trade secrets theft and sanctions evasion, in US federal courts.

Huawei has repeatedly denied wrongdoing. The company said “political factors” are at play and in Meng faces a “serious violation of justice.” It said she plans to ask the Canadian court to stop the extradition case from going forward.

“Political factors at play during the extradition process may lead to a serious violation of justice,” the company said Wednesday. “Ms. Meng’s legitimate rights may also be harmed.” Meng earlier filed a civil lawsuit accusing Canada of illegally detaining her.
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On Wednesday, another court date was set for September, but it’s still unclear when the actual extradition hearing will begin. Meanwhile, Meng’s legal team will likely spend months poring over documents about the case against her.

Huawei is the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker and one of the biggest smartphone brands alongside Samsung and Apple. The United States, long wary of Huawei, is concerned the company’s technology can be used to spy on other countries and poses a national security threat. The tech giant faces scrutiny from US allies, as well.

Many in China viewed Meng’s arrest as a political move by Washington to gain leverage in the ongoing trade disputes.

President Donald Trump previously suggested that he may intervene in the Meng case if it would help the nations reach a deal. The court hearing Wednesday came after Trump jolted global markets by threatening to hike tariffs on China again.

— CNN Business’ Julia Horowitz contributed to this report.

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