By Barry Ellsworth
TRENTON, Canada (AA) – Chinese tech giant Huawei’s chief financial officer will spend the weekend in a Vancouver jail after her bail hearing adjourned Friday with no decision.
The judge said he needs more time to consider bail proposals and the court will reconvene Monday.
Meng Wanzhou stands accused of fraud by U.S. authorities who want her to be extradited from Canada to stand trial, a Vancouver court heard earlier in the day.
At her bail hearing in the packed courtroom, the Canadian prosecutor said Meng is a flight risk if freed from Canadian custody because she has extensive funds and could flee to China. That country has no extradition treaty with the U.S. or Canada. For those reasons, prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley opposed granting bail to the accused.
Meng’s lawyer, David Martin, argued that bail should be granted because his client’s personal integrity was such that she would not flee while under a court order.
American authorities allege that Meng, who is the daughter of the founder of Huawei, used an unofficial subsidiary named Skycom to do business with Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.
She is “charged with conspiracy to defraud multiple international institutions” and each charge carries a maximum prison term of 30 years.
The court heard that Meng deceived banks and other financial institutions by claiming the two companies were separate entities. Skycom is based in Hong Kong.
The Chinese government demanded to know why Meng was arrested – there was a publication ban until it was lifted Friday – and called for her immediate release.
She was arrested in Vancouver Dec. 1 at the request of American authorities.
The international community is intensely interested in the case because of the potential fallout in financial markets.
News of the arrest sent stock markets plunging over fears it would kill a 90-day trade truce brokered by U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Huawei is the world’s largest supplier of telecommunications network equipment and second-biggest maker of smartphones and the Americans have maintained that the company spies for the Chinese military.
In August, Trump signed a bill banning U.S. government use of Huawei technology.