© Reuters. Meng Wanzhou, Chief Financial Officer of Huawei Technologies, is leaving the Vancouver court
By Sarah Berman
VANCOUVER (Reuters) – A border official who participated in questioning Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou testified Friday that he had no reasonable cause to believe that she should have been denied entry to Canada, he was however, believed that the border agency's arrest warrant for her detention was still justified.
Huawei's lawyers want to prove in a Canadian court that the Canadian border agency's investigation two years ago at Vancouver International Airport led to an abuse of lawsuit that should disrupt their extradition to the United States.
Prosecutors and witnesses from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have countered Meng's investigation and arrest following normal procedures.
On Friday, defense attorney Mona Duckett confronted CBSA agent Sowmith Katragadda with a document he signed that contained a statement that he had reason to believe that she should be refused entry into Canada and could therefore be arrested on an immigration warrant .
When asked if he had reasonable reasons, Katragadda replied, "At the time, no, I didn't."
He replied that he had not chosen the wording of the documents and believed that the immigration warrant was still justified.
CBSA officials previously testified that they were concerned about Meng's escape from the country if the RCMP did not arrest them.
48-year-old Meng was arrested for bank fraud in the US. She is accused of misrepresenting Huawei Technologies Co Ltd (HWT.UL) dealings with Iran, putting one of its lenders, HSBC, at risk of violating US trade sanctions.
She has denied the charges and tried to refuse her extradition because of alleged collusion between Canadian and US authorities.
In particular, Meng's attorneys have alleged that the Canadian and US authorities used the CBSA's additional investigative powers to interrogate Meng without an attorney present.
CBSA officials have testified that their investigation was not directed by outside authorities and was conducted regardless of the pending arrest warrant.
Meng's arrest has sparked a diplomatic conflict between Ottawa and Beijing.
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