Immigration officials have allowed family members of Huawei telecommunications executive Meng Wanzhou to travel to Canada, TBEN News confirmed.
“As in all cases, this decision was taken in accordance with Canadian law and in strict compliance with the current trip. [Orders in Council]Said a statement from Global Affairs Canada.
CTV News first reported the news that Meng’s husband Liu Xiaozong and her two children had been granted permission to come to Canada by officers from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
Liu arrived in Canada in October and in December was followed by the couple’s children, CTV reported.
Global Affairs said Meng’s family members were allowed to come here through a process that allows family members of foreign nationals to visit Canada temporarily.
The Global Affairs statement said the minister was aware of the exemption that had been granted.
Meng, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co., was arrested in December 2018 while changing planes in Vancouver. She was arrested on a US extradition request over allegations that she lied to a Hong Kong banker in August 2013 about Huawei control of a subsidiary accused of violating US sanctions against Iran .
She was released on bail and consistently denies the charges against her.
Under her bail conditions, Meng must wear a GPS ankle monitoring bracelet and is confined to her home from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. daily. She is authorized to travel in the Lower Mainland with security guards during the day; it must pay for the security itself.
Shortly after Meng’s arrest, Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were detained in China, where they are still in custody, charged with spying for Canada.
‘Increased access’ granted
Global Affairs has said the detention of the two Canadians is “unacceptable” and that while the federal government continues to press for their immediate release, it has made progress to improve the conditions of their imprisonment.
“In recent months, Canada has secured agreements providing for increased family and consular access for Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor,” the statement said.
A source speaking on the background told TBEN News that the reference to “increased” access simply means that access has been restored to the level granted to Kovrig and Spavor before the outbreak of the pandemic. From January to October of last year, family and Canadian officials had no access to the two men.
Meng, meanwhile, launched a bid in a British Columbia court this week to ease her bail restrictions. Earlier this week, the 48-year-old – who is a thyroid cancer survivor and suffers from high blood pressure – claimed the changing list of guards who accompanied her everywhere during the day put her at increased risk of catching COVID-19.
Conservative MP Raquel Dancho said the decision to grant Meng’s family a pass into Canada is an insult to the families of Kovrig and Spavor.
“The Liberals rolled out the red carpet and granted a special travel exemption to allow the family of Huawei’s CFO to reunite in time for the holidays. It is an insult to the millions of Canadians to whom this government has told not to visit their loved ones, ”she told me.
In court this week, Liu Xiaozong claimed that the constant presence of guards also prevented his family from spending quality time together without attracting the attention of strangers anxious to photograph the woman at the center of a high-profile case before a court. international tribunal.
The actual extradition procedure is expected to start at the beginning of March and continue in stages until the end of April.
The first part of the proceedings will involve an offer by the defense to have the case dismissed due to alleged violations of Meng’s rights.
Her lawyers claim she is being used as a political pawn by US President Donald Trump and also claim that the Canada Border Services Agency and the RCMP conspired with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation at the time of her arrest. to deny him access to a lawyer.
The defense claims that the United States deliberately misled Canada about the strength of the case against Meng and goes beyond its jurisdiction to punish it.
The final part of the procedure will be a test of the strength of the extradition request itself.