Huawei Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Meng Wanzhou received multiple death threats, including bullets in the mail, while under house arrest in Vancouver, a Canadian court heard on January 13. Wanzhou, who has been fighting for her extradition returned to the courtroom this week with her attorneys arguing that she had received “five to six” threatening letters between June and July 2020.
The 48 years old Chinese national was arrested at Vancouver International Airport in 2018. She has primarily been charged with bank fraud for allegedly misleading HSBC on Huawei’s business dealings in Iran, causing the bank to break U.S. sanctions. Since her initial detention, she has been fighting to be extradited to the United States from Canada.
All the threats to the executive were revealed during the testimony of Doug Maynard. Maynard is the chief operating officer of Lions Gate Risk Management, the company providing Wenzhou’s s security detail. According to reports, employees at Lion’s gate were tasked with ensuring that evidence against Wenzhou wasn’t contaminated and opened letters for her.
During the hearing at the British Columbia Court, he revealed that the warning letters came through the mail and were identified by “markings on the outside.” Elaborating further he said that many times, there were “bullets inside the envelop.”
A Canadian judge has denied Meng access to most of the documents her lawyers wanted to use to help prevent her extradition to the United States. Prosecutors have accused her of misleading a bank in the US on Huawei’s relationship with a company operating in Iran, putting it at risk of penalties for flouting US sanctions on Tehran.
However, defence lawyers have argued that the case is about the US sanctions on Iran and not a bank fraud case, adding that Canada has repudiated the sanctions. In May, British Columbia’s Superior Court judge Heather Holmes ruled that the legal standard of double criminality had been met. Holmes said that Meng’s approach would seriously limit Canada’s ability to fulfil its international obligations in the extradition context for fraud and other economic crimes.