After concluding the cross-examinati of Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable Winston Yep, lawyers are now looking to question a Canadian border agent involved in the arrest of Huawei Technologies Co. chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou.
On Wednesday, Meng's defense team grilled Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer, Scott Kirkland, who claimed that the actions they took were part of their "normal" procedures.
Kirkland told the Supreme Court of British Columbia on Wednesday that their examination tactics, which had included the confiscation of Meng's electronic devices, luggage search, and forceful acquisition of her passwords, were common. Meng's lawyers claimed that the officers' actions were a clear violation of her rights and an abuse of their positions.
Meng was arrested after her stopover in Vancouver back in December 2018. Prior to being handed over to the RCMP, Meng was held and questioned for three hours. Kirkland claimed that asking for passwords to devices owned by detainees was a normal occurrence and he would often do it "sometimes daily." He added that he did express worry over examining Meng after he realized that he was a high-profile person given her U.S. arrest warrant.
Kirkland told the court that he even suggested to his colleagues to skip the interview and simply identify Meng and immediately turn her over to the RCMP. He said that he knew at that time that the case could go to court and issues over the country's Charter of Rights and Freedoms could be brought up. Meng's legal teams are aiming to prove that Meng's rights were violated and due process was abused during the three hours she was detained.
The arrest warrant against Meng was issued by a New York court in August 2018. She was accused of misleading HSBC over Huawei's business with Iran, which the bank claimed led it to violate U.S. sanction laws. Meng has repeatedly denied the accusations and is fighting her extradition to the U.S. in Vancouver, where she is being held under house arrest.
Examinations of witness testimony over Meng's arrest, before and after she was turned over to authorities, are expected to last five days in total. The case is scheduled to close in April 2021 but further appeals could drag it on for years.