VANCOUVER (BLOOMBERG) - For months, Canadian defence lawyers for Huawei Technologies Co's chief financial officer have been gearing up to battle a US extradition request they had said would be "exceptionally" complex, involving reams of documents. It turns out it's just 33 pages long.
The Canadian proceedings, in other words, are unlikely to shed much more light on what kind of evidence exactly the US has amassed against Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of Huawei's billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei and is sought by the US on fraud charges.
In a preliminary hearing on Thursday (June 6), the Supreme Court of British Columbia laid out a road map for Meng's case, ordering the start of extradition hearings on Jan 20 - the day when crown prosecutors will also present for the first time the full US request, known as the record of the case.
"It would be helpful to have them well in advance," Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes told the crown prosecutors. "I understand they're quite complex."
Not as complicated as her defence describes them, responded crown lawyer John Gibb-Carsley.
When asked how long the request was, he said, "The record of the case is 25 pages and supplement is eight pages."
Just a tad more than the 25-page US indictment already filed in January.
The US accuses Meng of tricking banks into conducting transactions for Huawei that may have violated US sanctions on Iran.
The main pillar of the US case appears, so far, to be a PowerPoint she presented at a huddle in a Hong Kong teahouse with an HSBC Holdings Plc banker about six years ago.
Since her arrest last December, Meng has been living under house arrest in Vancouver. Another round of preliminary hearings is set to start on Sept 23.