Huawei executive faces fraud case in US over alleged violation of Iran sanctions

Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver last week on foot of a US extradition request

Huawei executive faces fraud case in US over alleged violation of Iran sanctions

File photo of Huawei Finance Chief Meng Wanzhou. Image: Mfc/Ropi/Zuma Press/PA Images

A senior official with Chinese tech company Huawei faces a fraud case in the US over alleged breaches of US sanctions on Iran, a court in Canada has heard.

The company’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested last Saturday at Vancouver Airport and now faces extradition to the US.

Details of the case were made public after a publication ban was lifted in Canada today.

Ms Meng appeared in court for a bail hearing in Vancouver.

According to public broadcaster CBC, Ms Meng is accused of using an unofficial subsidiary called Skycom to evade US sanctions on Iran from 2009 to 2014.

She's further accused of making public misrepresentations about Skycom by claiming it was separate from Huawei.

If she is extradited, Ms Meng could face prosecution in the US.

China has claimed that Ms Meng's arrest is a human rights violation.

It has led to concerns the ongoing trade war between the US and China could intensify – after the two country’s presidents agreed a 90-day truce last weekend.

This morning, a White House official told Reuters President Trump was unaware of the plans when he met President Xi.

Non-political

Yesterday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau moved to distance himself from the arrest.

In comments quoted by The Globe and Mail, he said: “The appropriate authorities took the decisions in this case.

"We were advised by them with a few days' notice that this was in the works but of course there was no engagement or involvement in the political level in this decision because we respect the independence of our judicial processes."

Stock markets

The arrest has led to turbulence in world stock markets – amid fears relations between the US and China could deteriorate further.

The Chinese foreign ministry has demanded her release and called on Canadian authorities to reveal why she was arrested.

In a statement, the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa said: "The Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim.

"The Chinese side has lodged stern representations with the US and Canadian side, and urged them to immediately correct the wrongdoing and restore the personal freedom of Ms Meng Wanzhou."

Reporting by Mick Staines and Stephen McNeice