At least two senior HSBC leaders were aware of the connections between Huawei and its Iranian subsidiary, CFO lawyers say.
Lawyers fighting the extradition of Huawei’s chief financial officer to the United States from Canada have filed internal emails from British bank HSBC saying they rejected US claims that Huawei was cheating the bank.
Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou’s legal team said Tuesday that emails and documents filed in a Canadian court showed that at least two senior HSBC leaders were aware of the connections between Huawei and its Iranian subsidiary, Skycom. HSBC declined to comment.
Meng’s lawyers are trying to add the documents to evidence. They are intended to counter the American charges that only minor employees of the British bank knew about the true nature of the relationship between Huawei and Skycom.
U.S. prosecutors alleged that Meng tricked HSBC over Huawei’s business in Iran and may have caused the bank to break U.S. sanctions.
He is accused of lying to HSBC about Huawei’s relationship with Skycom, a company that did business in Iran in violation of US trade sanctions. U.S. prosecutors allege that he deceived HSBC and exposed the bank to criminal liability for breaches of sanctions.
Meng, 49, was arrested in December 2018 at Vancouver International Airport on charges of bank fraud in the US. She has been under house arrest for more than two years while her case goes through the Canadian legal system.
His legal team has extracted internal documents from HSBC through a Hong Kong court, and they hope to refer him to the final hearings of the case scheduled for August.
In particular, the defense alleges that two HSBC managing directors saw Meng’s presentation to HSBC about Huawei’s business in Iran. They said it made clear Skycom’s ownership structure.
Meng and his legal team appeared in the British Columbia Supreme Court on Tuesday on the first day of a two-day hearing, where they will argue to add more evidence to support their case.
Evidence shows that the U.S. argument is “so flawed that it forces the courts not to rely on it,” Meng’s defense attorney Mark Sandler told the court.
Prosecutors representing the Canadian government argued that the evidence and arguments were beyond the reach of an extradition hearing.