HSBC says yes to releasing documents in Huawei extradition case

Sabrina Meng 16x9.jpg

Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou will have access to documents from HSBC in her case to avoid extradition to the US.

Meng has been on restricted bail in Canada since December 2018 fighting extradition to the US to face charges relating to alleged fraud concerning exports to Iran.

Meng and Huawei deny all the charges, which say that she deceived the bank when discussing exports of Huawei equipment to Iran, in contravention of a US embargo.

A London judge earlier this year refused to order HSBC to release documents that Meng believes will help her case in Vancouver. But then she took the case to Hong Kong and she and HSBC have told a Hong Kong court that they have reached an agreement over the documents.

A Huawei spokeswoman told the South China Morning Post: “An agreement has been reached with HSBC in relation to the Hong Kong legal proceedings for document production and an order has been approved by the court.”

However details of the agreement are not immediately available.

This is her first significant victory in the legal battle, already 28 months old. Whatever decision the Vancouver court arrives at later this year, appeals from one side or the other are likely to leave the issue unresolved for a long time to come.

Meng has been continuing to work as CFO from her house in Vancouver, with a range of Huawei colleagues.

The documents in question relate to what HSBC knew or didn’t know about Huawei as well as its intermediaries in its business with Iran, Skycom and Canicula Holdings.

Lawyers for the US are saying that in a Hong Kong meeting with HSBC she misrepresented Huawei’s operations in Iran, causing the bank to be at risk of sanctions violations.

Her case is that HSBC did know — and also that the US has no jurisdiction in the matter, as HSBC is a UK-registered bank. The US says it does have jurisdiction because the transactions were in US dollars.