TORONTO — An executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei is suing the Canadian government, its border agency and the RCMP, saying they detained, searched and interrogated her before telling her she was under arrest.
Lawyers for Meng Wangzhou said Sunday they filed a notice of civil claim in the British Columbia Supreme Court. Canada arrested the daughter of Huawei’s founder at the request of the U.S. on Dec. 1 at Vancouver’s airport. Meng is wanted on fraud charges that she misled banks about the company’s business dealings in Iran.
Security outside Meng Wangzhou’s home today. The Chinese tech giant Huawei’s CFO is suing the Canadian government, CBSA and @rcmpgrcpolice, saying they detained, searched and interrogated her before telling her she was under arrest. @CityNewsVAN @BT_Vancouver @NEWS1130 pic.twitter.com/y0Odd5taYe
— Ashley Grace Burr (@AshleyBurr_) March 3, 2019
The suit says that instead of immediately arresting her, authorities interrogated Meng “under the guise of a routine customs” examination and used the opportunity to “compel her to provide evidence and information.”
The allegations have not been proven in court and the CBSA, RCMP and the attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
On Friday, the Canadian Department of Justice gave the go-ahead for an extradition case against Meng, marking the formal start of the high-profile process that has put Canada in an uncomfortable position between the United States and China.
China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor on Dec. 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng. A Chinese court also sentenced a Canadian to death in a sudden retrial, overturning a 15-year prison term handed down earlier. Kovrig and Spavor haven’t had access to a lawyer since being arrested.
Meng is out on bail in Canada and living in one of her two Vancouver mansions awaiting extradition proceedings.
She is due in court on March 6, at which time a date for her extradition hearing will be set.
The U.S. Department of Justice has laid out 13 criminal counts of conspiracy, fraud and obstruction against Huawei and Meng.
Huawei, the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies, is a focus of U.S. security concerns. Washington has pressured other countries to limit use of its technology, warning they could be opening themselves up to surveillance and theft of information.
With files from the Associated Press and the Canadian Press.