TORONTO – An executive at Huawei Technologies Co. has sued the Canadian government, police and border officials claiming her legal rights were violated when she was detained at Vancouver International Airport in December following an extradition arrest request from the US.
The lawsuit, filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, claims Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was unlawfully detained, questioned and searched for more three hours by a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer and three border officials “under the false pretense of a routine border check” before she was told the reasons for her arrest in December. The claim alleges she was improperly denied access to a lawyer.
The conduct of the officials was a violation of Meng’s rights under Canada’s Charter of Rights, the lawsuit said.
A spokesman for Canada’s Department of Justice wasn’t immediately available.
The lawsuit was filed on Friday, the same day Canada said the US had provided sufficient evidence to proceed with an extradition hearing for Meng. The US has requested her extradition, alleging she and Huawei violated US sanctions on Iran.
Meng, who is currently living in Vancouver under bail terms, has denied wrongdoing and is fighting extradition in a legal battle that could last years. She is the daughter of Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, and her arrest has put Canada in the middle of a diplomatic dispute between the US and China.
Meng arrived at the Vancouver airport from Hong Kong on the morning of Dec. 1 en route to a flight to Mexico. Meng, who was among the first passengers to exit the plane, was stopped by Canadian border officials who said they were checking passenger passports, the lawsuit said.
When the officials identified Meng, she was escorted to a border-inspection area, where she was questioned and ordered to hand over her luggage, cellphones, iPad, computer and device passwords, the lawsuit said.
Meng suffered “mental distress” as a result of her detention, the lawsuit said. She was hospitalized after her arrest at the airport, before she was transferred to a prison, according to court documents.