Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, was arrested on December 1, being faced with fraud charges linked to the alleged violation of sanctions on Iran. A judge in Vancouver recently set bail at C$10m, in which Wanzhou was able to be released, though she will be under 24 hour surveillance and must wear an electronic ankle tag.
Now, US President Donald Trump is saying he is “willing to intervene in the case.” While talking to Reuters news agency, he said that he could intervene in the US Justice Department’s case against Wanzhou if that meant avoiding further deterioration in relations with China.
“Whatever’s good for this country, I would do,” said Mr Trump. “If I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing – what’s good for national security, I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary.”
During the three-day bail hearing in Vancouver, Wanzhou’s lawyers sought to guarantee she would not pose a flight risk if released. The application was opposed by Canadian prosecutors.
According to US prosecutors, Wanzhou publicly misrepresented Skycom as a separate company from Huawei in order to avoid sanctions on Iran. In addition, it alleged she deceived banks regarding the true relationship between the two companies. However, Wanzhou denies any wrongdoings and says she will contest the allegations.
When Justice William Ehrcke granted bail, applause emerged throughout the courtroom while Wanzhou began to cry and hug her lawyers. She will reappear in court on February 6, per the judge’s order.
After the ruling, Huawei issued a statement, saying: “We have every confidence that the Canadian and US legal systems will reach a just conclusion.”