VANCOUVER, June 24 (Xinhua) -- The Canadian lawyers team for Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou have appealed to the Canadian government to end the extradition against her for its national interests.
In a joint statement issued on Monday, lawyers David Peck, David Martin, Scott Fenton and Eric Gottardi said they have delivered a "comprehensive" letter to Canadian Justice Minister David Lametti, clarifying the legal basis upon which the minister could properly withdraw the extradition proceedings against Meng.
Meng was arrested on Dec. 1, 2018, at Vancouver International Airport at the request of the United States, which is seeking her extradition on fraud charges. Both Meng and Huawei have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
"As detailed in our submissions to the minister, the minister should exercise his discretion to withdraw the proceedings because the extradition proceedings are without merit and cessation of the proceedings would be in the best interests of Canada's national interests," the lawyers said.
"These extradition proceedings are unique," said the three-page statement. "The factual and legal underpinnings for Ms. Meng's extradition are without precedent in Canadian law." "No similar extradition request has ever been entertained by Canada," the statement said. "Palpably, it is brought for political purposes as opposed to legitimate criminal law enforcement reasons."
The lawyers have argued that no aspects of the case violated Canadian law and all the allegations occurred in a foreign state. They have also said Meng's arrest in Vancouver was unlawful. "Over our history, the Canadian government has stood up for Canadian values, including the rule of law, even in circumstances where this has meant a departure from American foreign policy," the statement said.
"Ending the extradition proceedings against Ms. Meng now is entirely consistent with Canada's commitment to the rule of law, our international treaties and Canada's independent foreign policy," it added.
The four legal heavyweights signed the statement when preparing Meng's defense in the lead-up to her British Columbia Supreme Court extradition hearing expected to begin next January.
On May 8, after Meng attended a court hearing in Vancouver, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang told a news briefing that China reiterated its demand on Washington to withdraw its arrest warrant and the extradition request against Meng.
Huawei has always been confident in Meng's innocence, and it has "maintained that her U.S.-ordered arrest was unlawful abuse of process -- one guided by political considerations and tactics, not by the rule of law," the company said in a statement released on the same day.