The Chinese telecommunications giant’s chief financial officer, detained in Canada at US’ request, has taken legal action against the country’s border agents and police, accusing them of an unlawful search and interrogation.
In a lawsuit filed in Canada’s British Colombia’s Supreme Court on Friday, Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s CFO and daughter of the company’s founder, claimed that the Canadian border agency and national police trampled on her constitutional rights when they detained her at the Vancouver airport on December, 1.
The lawsuit, which was reported by the Globe and Mail on Sunday, alleges that border agents kept Meng in the dark about the real reasons of her detention for three hours, while at the same time combing through her electronic devices and duping her into providing evidence about the case “under the guise of a routine border check.”
The conduct of the agents, who read Meng her rights only after the procedure was over, constitute “serious breaches” of the Chinese national’s constitutional rights, the lawsuit charges.
Apart from questioning the legality of the Canadian authorities’ actions in the run-up to her eventual arrest, the lawsuit seeks damages for “misfeasance in public office” and “false imprisonment,” while accusing Ottawa of “multiple failures” to stick to its own law.
The lawsuit comes as the extradition process in her case formally kicks off, with Canada’s Department of Justice announcing Friday that it had issued “an authority to proceed” with an extradition hearing, the data for which will be set next Wednesday.
Meng is facing an array of charges in the US, including bank fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit these crimes that all stem from her allegedly circumventing US sanctions on Iran. Beijing has denounced her arrests as “political persecution,” demanding that she be immediately released and Washington drop the extradition request.