US accuses Huawei CFO of Iran sanctions cover-up; hearing adjourned to Monday

Meng Wanzhou. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Vancouver, BC, Canada Dec 08, 2018, 08.39 AM (IST)

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's chief financial officer faces US accusations that she covered up her company's links to a firm that tried to sell equipment to Iran despite sanctions, a Canadian prosecutor said on Friday, arguing against giving her bail while she awaits extradition.

After nearly six hours of arguments and counter-arguments, no decision was reached and the hearing was adjourned until Monday 10:00 am Pacific Time (1800 GMT).

The case against Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of the founder of Huawei, stems from a 2013 report about the company's close ties to Hong Kong-based Skycom Tech Co Ltd, which attempted to sell US equipment to Iran despite US and European Union bans, the prosecutor told a Vancouver court.

US prosecutors argue that Meng was not truthful to banks who asked her about links between the two firms, the court heard on Friday. If extradited to the United States, Meng would face charges of conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions, the court heard, with a maximum sentence of 30 years for each charge.

Meng, 46, was arrested in Canada on December 1 at the request of the United States. The arrest was on the same day that US President Donald Trump met in Argentina with China's Xi Jinping to look for ways to resolve an escalating trade war between the world's two largest economies.

The news of her arrest has roiled stock markets and drawn condemnation from Chinese authorities, although Trump and his top economic advisers have downplayed its importance to trade talks after the two leaders agreed to a truce.