Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou will be released on $10 million bail as she awaits possible extradition to the United States on fraud charges, a B.C. Supreme Court justice has ruled this afternoon.
Meng must surrender her passports, wear an electronic monitoring bracelet on her ankle and live under surveillance 24/7. She has been ordered to pay the surveillance costs herself.
Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s multi-billionaire founder, was detained in Vancouver on fraud charges at the request of U.S. authorities more than a week ago. She was arrested at Vancouver International Airport on her way from Hong Kong to Mexico.
The whole situation has placed Canada in between our two largest trading partners, the US and China. Incidentally, the US and China are in the midst of a trade war. This has clearly put Canada into an uncomfortable situation, and one that we really would have preferred to have avoided. But the US requested Canada that Meng be held for extradition. Because of an extradition treaty, Canada had no choice but to comply.
China seems to have chosen to put pressure on the Canadian government to release Meng, rather than the US. With the judicial system separate from government in Canada, PM Justin Trudeau could not intervene even if he wanted to.
The extradition process could take months. Meng is scheduled to appear in court again on Feb. 6 to set a date for those proceedings. We will be hearing a lot more about this story for a long time.
The entire situation seems ironic. With the US and China trying to lower the temperature on their trade war (at least today), what a stupid time to try to have Meng extradited to the US to face charges. No wonder world equity markets are spooked.