(Reuters) – Huawei Technologies had a plane waiting to take CFO Meng Wanzhou back to China from Vancouver, the key verdict in his extradition case was to be handed down last May, prosecutors said in a Canadian court on Tuesday.
Meng, 48, is fighting extradition from From Canada to the United States since his arrest at Vancouver International Airport over two years ago. She was charged with bank fraud for allegedly misleading HSBC on Huawei’s business affairs in Iran, resulting in the bank’s violation of US sanctions.
In May, a Canadian judge sided with prosecutors representing the Canadian government on a key component of Meng’s case, allowing the extradition hearing to continue. That ruling supported the prosecutors’ case that Meng’s alleged actions were illegal in both Canada and the United States and therefore met the double criminality standard.
Before the ruling was announced, Huawei had chartered a Boeing 777 from China Southern Airlines is ready to bring Meng back to China if the double criminality decision goes in its favor, prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley said during a bail change hearing on Tuesday.
The move was revealed during Gibb Carsley’s interrogation of Meng’s husband, Liu Xiaozong, as Huawei’s lawyers tried to ease her bail conditions and release the security details that constantly monitor her.
“You know … arrangements have been made to take your wife, Ms. Meng, back to China if she succeeds in a court decision?” Gibb-Carsley asked.
Liu said it was.
“Do you know that members of the Chinese consulate were also involved in organizing the chartered flight?” Gibb-Carsley said.
“I don’t know,” Liu said.
Meng’s bail hearing is expected to end on Wednesday. Discussions in his case are expected to end in May.
Reportage by Moira Warburton in Toronto; edited by Richard Pullin