Huawei executive's extradition hearing to start in Vancouver

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It marks the first phase in what is likely to be a protracted battle: Meng's team is also expected to argue USA and Canadian authorities conspired against her, breaching her rights when Canadian border guards detained her for hours prior to her arrest by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in December 2018 on suspicion of fraud and breaching U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Peck told a British Columbia Supreme Court judge that it's a fiction that America has any interest in policing a foreign citizen or foreign bank, but it does have an interest in enforcing its sanctions.

The first phase of the trial will last at least four days, but legal experts previously said it could be years before a decision on Meng's extradition is made since Canada's slow-moving justice system allows many decisions to be appealed.

He described Ms Meng's case as a "serious political matter", adding that "the United States and Canada are abusing their bilateral extradition treaty".

He added sanctions are the basis of the alleged fraud, since the bank wouldn't have faced any economic risk if the penalties didn't exist. "There are no Iranian sanctions in Canada and anything (the prosecutors bring up) that's related to an Iranian sanction in Canada may well be dismissed", he said. "In our respectful submission, the response is No".

China has also placed restrictions on various Canadian exports to China, including canola oil seed and meat.

Her lawyers filed a a motion Friday arguing that Meng's case is really about US sanctions against Iran, not a fraud case.

"Our government has been clear that we are a rule of law country and that we honour our extradition treaty commitments", she said.

Since her arrest Meng has been living in a mansion in Vancouver's Shaughnessy neighborhood, among some of the most expensive real estate in the country.

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The motion authorizes the committee to order the prime minister, Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and Canada's ambassador to China, Dominic Barton, to appear as witnesses "from time to time as the committee sees fit".

Wearing a long polka dot dress, designer high heels and her ankle monitoring bracelet, Meng Wanzhou entered the courthouse looking defiant.

Meng's legal team is now only scheduled to call evidence in the last week of April, and a second phase of the trial, focusing on abuse of process and whether Canadian officials followed the law while arresting Meng, is set to begin in June.

Her husband Liu Xiaozong listened in the courtroom gallery. "That is what we need to do and that is what we will do", she told reporters in Winnipeg.

Soon after Meng's arrest, China detained two Canadians, former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Monday that Canada should also correct its mistake, Reuters reports.

If the judge decides the legal test of double criminality has not been met, Meng will be free to leave Canada, though she'll still have to stay out of America to avoid the charges.

If the judge finds there is double criminality, the hearing will proceed to a second phase.

Meng was arrested at Vancouver International Airport in December, 2018, at the request of the Americans on fraud charges.

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