VANCOUVER, Nov. 24 (Reuters) – A Canadian policeman who seized the electronics of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou during his arrest two years ago told a court he did not recall having told his supervisor that sensitive information about these devices had been sent to the United States. authorities, according to court testimony Tuesday.
Defense lawyer Scott Fenton confronted Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) witness Gurvinder Dhaliwal about a note from his supervisor, which he said suggested that Dhaliwal knew that Staff Sgt. -Major Ben Chang, one of his colleagues, had sent Meng’s serial numbers and SIM card numbers ?? s to the US FBI before a request for evidence.
Dhaliwal said he couldn’t speak to his supervisor’s notes, adding that he “couldn’t recall telling (his supervisor) that Ben Chang sent this information to the FBI.”
Meng, 48, was arrested during a layover at Vancouver International Airport in December 2018. U.S. prosecutors charged her with bank fraud, accusing her of misleading HSBC Holdings PLC about the Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s business transactions in Iran, which would have caused the bank to break up the United States. punishments.
Meng has claimed her innocence and her lawyers are trying to prove her civil rights were violated when Canadian border officials questioned her and collected identifying details from her electronic devices without any legal representation. They also allege that Canadian police shared this information with US law enforcement after his arrest.
Officers from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the RCMP were called to testify on the events surrounding Meng’s investigation and subsequent arrest, with a specific focus on coordination alleged illegal between the forces and whether the identifying details of Meng’s devices were deliberately shared with the police. .
Chang, who has since retired from the RCMP, declined to testify. Court documents show government prosecutors refused to share notes about him due to concerns about witness safety.
When asked if he agreed that Meng’s serial numbers were private information and might require additional permission to be noted, Dhaliwal replied, “It didn’t occur to me. at the time. “
Meng’s attorneys argued that the FBI conspired with the CBSA, Canadian Federal Police and others at the time of his arrest to organize a “secret criminal investigation.”
Earlier Tuesday, Fenton asked Dhaliwal if he knew Meng was “under some FBI surveillance.”
Dhaliwal replied that it appears from the records and exhibits that someone was aware of the surveillance.
The defense also cites a delay in Meng’s arrest as a violation of civil rights, arguing that the RCMP wanted to use the CBSA’s additional powers to investigate Meng without a lawyer present.
Fenton focused on the rights that Meng would have been made aware of had the RCMP arrested her immediately after exiting a plane from Hong Kong rather than wait until the CBSA investigation was completed, arguing that she was reportedly informed of the charges against her and of her right to counsel.
Dhaliwal agreed, adding, “It’s hypothetical.”
Diplomatic relations between Ottawa and Beijing deteriorated following Meng’s arrest. China arrested Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig for espionage days later.
Witness testimony is expected to last until Friday, with a potential two to three additional days slated for December. Meng’s extradition hearing is scheduled to end in April 2021. (Reporting by Sarah Berman in Vancouver Additional reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto edited by Denny Thomas and Matthew Lewis)