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Trudeau gov't weighs in after U.S. formally charges, requests extradition of Huawei CFO Meng

Last Updated Jan 29, 2019 at 5:10 pm EDT

A man walks on Parliament Hill on September 15, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The Trudeau government warns the extradition case for the Huawei executive at the centre of our diplomatic dispute with China may not be quick.

The U.S. has requested extradition for Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested at YVR Airport last month.

RELATED: Huawei denies committing violations cited by US Justice Dept

The formal request from U.S. officials came Monday night, hours after Huawei, its subsidiaries, and Meng were charged with 13 counts including fraud, money laundering, and obstruction of justice.

They are accused of lying to financial institutions in order to skirt sanctions against Iran. Canada’s justice department has 30 days to decide if the paperwork is in order and the case has merit before it goes before a judge.

But Justice Minister David Lametti warns this may be a long process. “By the time all the individuals’ rights are exhausted, they can actually take a long time.”

Some cases take years.

If a judge does rule in favour of extradition Lametti has to make the final call on the case.

China has demanded Meng’s release and has detained two Canadians and sentenced a third to death in apparent retaliation.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has confirmed another Canadian has been arrested, but says there’s no indication that case has anything to do with the other three.

Freeland also says the government is considering all options in an effort to secure the release of the two detained Canadians, and isn’t ruling out a special envoy.

The arrest and extradition request for Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou triggered the tense diplomatic dispute with China.

On his way into cabinet on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered only brief remarks on the case.

“We are focused on fulfilling international obligations, treaty obligations, making sure that the rule of law is consistently and integrily applied.”

“We are a country of the rule of law. We’re going to make sure that the law’s always respected,” he added.

Canada recently fired our ambassador to China after John McCallum weighed in on Meng’s case, claiming she has a strong defense and adding it would be good of the U.S. dropped its extradition request.