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The U.S. To Officially Request Sabrina’s Extradition – But Canada Isn’t Happy Their Citizens Are Being Punished



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Jan 23 2019
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The clock is ticking and the U.S. has finally informed the Canadian government of its intention to proceed with a formal request to extradite Meng Wanzhou, otherwise known as Sabrina Meng or Cathy Meng. The daughter of Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei was arrested on Dec 1, 2018 in Vancouver, Canada, while she was transferring flights in the country.

 

Confirming the official request, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. David MacNaughton however, has blamed the U.S. for the diplomatic fallout from the arrest of the Chinese telecom giant Huawei’s CFO, complaining it is “paying the price” of Beijing’s anger. The Chinese has so far detained two Canadians and sent a third to death for drug smuggling.

 

In what appears to be a direct retaliation, China has been holding 2 Canadians hostage since last month – businessman Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig. Curiously, both Spavor and Kovrig are being held in “secret detention” for the same reason – “suspected of participating in activities that harm China’s national security.”

Canada Ambassador to the United States - David MacNaughton

In a rare public reprimand, Mr. MacNaughton said in an interview – “We don’t like that it is our citizens who are being punished. [The Americans] are the ones seeking to have the full force of American law brought against [Ms. Meng] and yet we are the ones who are paying the price. Our citizens are.”

 

Although Mr. MacNaughton did not reveal when the formal U.S. extradition request would be made, the United States has until January 30 (60 days after the Sabrina Meng detention) to file an official request. The Huawei’s princess’ next court appearance will be on February 6 – to set the date for her extradition hearing.

 

However, if the U.S. fails to meet the extradition filing deadline, Sabrina Meng will be discharged under the terms of Canada’s Extradition Act. Still, it can be extended if a judge grants an application from Canada’s attorney general to do so. But upon the U.S. submission of its extradition, the Canadian Department of Justice will have 30 days to grant or reject the extradition request.

Huawei Sabrina Meng Wanzhou

Based on the US-Canadian extradition treaty, Meng’s alleged offences needs to be a crime in both countries, or “double criminality”. She was arrested for allegedly breaking U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran and faces extradition to the American soil and could be jailed for up to 30 years if found guilty. The mother of 4 reportedly is a thyroid cancer survivor who suffers from hypertension and a sleep disorder.

 

Apparently, Mr. MacNaughton has met repeatedly with top officials from both the White House and the U.S. State Department about the Meng case. According to the “Globe and Mail”, the Canadian ambassador has expressed his fears and concerns that President Donald Trump is merely using the Meng case as bargaining leverage in his trade dispute with China.

 

The cabinet ministers under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have raised their concerns that Beijing has been using sleep deprivation as a tactic of interrogation on Spavor and Kovrig. Disrupting the sleep of a prisoner by refusing to shut off the lights is a technique to disorient them and deprive them – a tactic that even the Canadian Armed Forces are forbidden from using.

China and Canada Flags

Canada has also complained that China will only allow Canadian consular officials to visit the two men once a month. Even then, it is only for half an hour. The conversations are also monitored and the Chinese guards forbid embassy officials from speaking to the Canadians in French for fear they are passing on messages.

 

After Meng’s arrest by the Canadian authorities at the request of the U.S., China has repeatedly demanded for her release and even threatened retaliation, before Spavor and Kovrig were finally arrested and detained. Now that the U.S. is in full swing to extradite the Huawei’s CFO, the Chinese has warned that the necessary actions will be taken against the U.S. as well.

 

Whether Beijing will retaliate against Washington the same way the Chinese arrested Canadians in the mainland, or it is nothing but empty rhetoric, remains to be seen. Based on how Spavor and Kovrig are being treated by the Chinese authorities, American citizens could suffer similar detention and would lead to a deteriorating China-U.S. relationship.

Huawei Building

 

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