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Monday, October 25, 2021

What happened behind the scenes in the Men Wangzhou case?

An analysis of the mystery surrounding the resolution of Meng’s case and the immediate release of imprisoned Canadians

News analysis

As “Two Michaels” left China for Canada on the evening of September 2, not only their families, but millions of Canadians were finally relieved for the men to return home safely.

In addition, little is known about the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to allow Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, to avoid extradition and criminal proceedings, and to take a delayed prosecution agreement (DPA). Michael Covrig and Michael Spover are returning to their respective countries at about the same time as Meng and the Canadians.

“From national security to high money, to geopolitical considerations, there are many different interests that, if you try to understand what happened, are like walking in a fog where you can’t see more than an inch in front of your nose,” Mark Ruskin, FBI’s 2 – Experienced in years, said in an interview.

Former diplomat Michael Covrig hugs his wife, Vina Nadjibullah, after arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport on September 25, 2021. (DND-MDN Canada / CPL.

Some questions to consider are whether the DPA has largely benefited Meng and China; Whether political influence was involved in Meng’s legal case; If there was discussion behind the scenes; And in addition to the obvious happy ending for two Canadians who have been detained indiscriminately in China since December 2018, what success has the various parties achieved at the end of the sea.

Meng’s DPA

Meng was arrested in Vancouver on December 1, 2011 for extradition to the United States, and was charged with fraud for lying to another company about Huawei’s business dealings with Iran, in violation of US sanctions on Iran. A few days later, when Kovarig and Spear were detained in China, the move was widely seen as an act of Beijing’s “hostage diplomacy” to force Canada to release Meng.

Meng is the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, the founder of Huawei, a former Chinese People’s Liberation Army officer. Huawei, which earned 13 1.13 billion in 2020, is a telecom company with deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Under his DPA with U.S. prosecutors, signed in September, Meng was allowed to plead guilty, but had to agree with the charges against him, as stated in the statement in the information document. On the same day, a Canadian court revoked his bail conditions, allowing him to return to China.

It is not clear what prompted the DOJ to give Meng a DPA. The company declined to comment for this article.

Some possible legitimate motives may include uncertainty over whether his extradition from Canada will be allowed, as well as the opportunity to use the DPA to pursue larger goals for future criminal trials.

However, the details surrounding the case make these possibilities impossible.

Meng’s extradition process to Canada was in its final stages this year, with the chief justice saying he would set a date in October to announce his decision on whether Meng should be extradited to the United States.

Michael-Grace
Canadian businessman Michael Spever in a file photo. (AP image / file)

According to Eric Goldkind, a Toronto-based criminal lawyer, the extradition case against Meng seemed difficult.

“She is OK [in the DPA], He has confessed to his crime, and signed an agreement to that end, ”Goldkind told The Epoch Times.

“So the extradition to Canada was airtight, brought in properly in accordance with the rule of law, because of what happened. [on Sept. 24] It is insulting in many ways. “

Calvin Crusty, a 33-year veteran of the RCMP who has worked in complex transnational organized crime investigations, says that in his experience, if Meng is detained until someone is arrested in the extradition case, there will be enough evidence to support extradition.

“Otherwise, it would be almost unprecedented in a Canadian court for someone to be detained for so long … if there is no significant evidence to support extradition,” said Krusty, who now heads the Critical Risk Team, a security and risk consulting firm.

Under Canadian extradition law, the final decision on whether a person should be extradited rests with the Minister of Justice, even if the court extradites the person. In Meng’s case, the Minister and the Government of Canada have always said that the matter would be settled through the rule of law and refused to intervene.

Ruskin, now an assistant professor at John J. College and an age-old contributor, said DPAs are not common but are not heard in white-collar crime. He said they are usually used to go after big targets to prosecute criminal cases.

For example, he explains, the DOJ may want to use a signed statement that could implicate Huawei against the Chinese telecom giant in the future. But that would require Meng’s presence in future court cases against Huawei, which he said would not be possible if he was kept in China.

Steven Surovits, an FBI colleague, agrees.

“The company’s defense attorney will object [if] He’s not there, because they can’t examine a piece of paper, “said Suroitz, a former divisional adviser to the FBI in New York and now president of SHS Solutions.

In addition, Meng’s DPA does not stipulate that he will testify against others in the future.

Legal lawsuits and politics

Lawyer Goldkind confirmed that despite the denials of US and Canadian officials, the decision to grant Meng a DPA was influenced by politics.

“There are very few legal ones in this regard,” he said. “Everything is political.”

The issue of DPA and political influence is fresh in the memory of Canadians, after a scandal led Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to find one of his highest profile cabinet members and a breach of morality. According to a 2019 report by the Commissioner of Ethics, Trudeau violated anti-self-incrimination laws when he pressured his then-Attorney General Jody Wilson-Rebold to close the criminal trial of Montreal-based company SNC-Lavalin and pursue a DPA instead. Wilson-Rebold resigned from the cabinet in protest and was later expelled from the Caucus.

Read Also:  The Nazi war criminal suspect, 96, fled after the trial

Surowitz says such political interference in the United States would also be unethical, even if the legalization of legal cases occurs.

Pictures of the ages
Judicial seal. (Samira Bouou / The Epoch Times)

He said influencing the attorney general would not be considered acceptable to a politician. “Unfortunately, these things have happened in our country.”

Ruskin has reported similar trends in the FBI and the Dow.

“The reality is that in recent years, they have become less objective and more of a political influence,” he says. “As far as field agents are concerned, I think they are still objective and neutral, but there has been a kind of sea change in the bureau at senior management.”

The White House insisted that there was no connection between Meng’s agreement with the DOJ and the release of Kovrig and Spavor.

“We have an independent judiciary. “We can’t determine how the Chinese or others run their business,” said Jane Saki, the White House press secretary. This is certainly positive news and good news. ”

Psaki confirmed that during a meeting between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden on September 9, Xi brought up the issue of Meng, and pressed for the release of Biden Kovarig and Spear, but said “there was no discussion about it.”

He added that he had no information on whether Biden was aware of the discussions between Meng’s lawyer and the DOJ.

Kirsten Hillman, Canada’s ambassador to the United States, similarly said the DOJ’s proposal for a DPA was independent of the release of the two Canadians.

“Resolving the allegations against DPA and Miss was a completely independent process,” Hillman told CTV 2TV September.

He added that since Meng’s decision “is heading towards success … the Chinese government has made its decision, and its decision is that it is no longer in its interest to hold Michael.”

He credited “pressure from Canada to our allies around the world” for the Chinese regime’s decision to free Covrig and Spear.

‘Extremely complex’

In cases like Meng’s, Krushti says it is not possible to take legal action “away from the context of a larger geopolitical conflict.”

“I imagined that the tracks of discussion and solution were extremely complex on multiple levels and probably not a single track of discussion. There will be a discussion table, and multiple discussions will be held outside the table, ”he said.

Pictures of the ages
Ren Zhengfei, president and founder of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, shows Chinese leader Xi Jinping (R) in the vicinity of his London, England office during a visit to the United Kingdom on October 21, 2015. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd / AFP Getty)

He added that whenever criminal law enters into international law – for example cases involving extradition – the process is more likely to be influenced by external influences.

“It is more difficult to have outside influence in a criminal case. But when you enter the international arena, geopolitics, it’s more likely [for there to be outside influence]. ”

Belief in the legal system

Chinese-Canadian activist and author Sheng Xu says the United States and the Canadian government should be transparent about “what happened behind the scenes.”

“It’s very sad. I see a lot of people now saying that the legal system is not credible in the United States or Canada and that it can be influenced by political power,” he said in an interview. “It’s a disaster.”

Sheng said the consequences of what happened were that the CCP fled with its “hostage diplomacy” because it released Koverig and Spever shortly after Meng’s release, dispelling the misconception that the two Canadians were not Meng’s revenge for his arbitrary detention. Arrest.

“CCP is very arrogant now,” he said.

Later

In Sheng’s view, the only winner, other than the two released Canadians, is the leader of the three countries: Xi Jinping to bring back the executive of the Chinese Crown Jewel Company; Trudeau, to take credit for the liberation of Canadians; And Biden, who claims credit and whom he calls, has followed a softer approach to CCP.

Pictures of the ages
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (L) and US President Joe Biden walk the boardwalk during the G7 summit in Cornwall Bay, Cornwall, southwest England, on June 11, 2021.

But what happened to the people of these countries and benefited from China’s “hostage diplomacy” was that, in the end, Meng was not the winner.

“After his arrest, Meng is now useless to the CCP. The CCP wanted to get him back very badly because they did not want him to speak freely in the free world, ”he said.

Goldkind says it’s great news for Coverig and Spever to return to the country, the world has seen “two Western world governments negotiating with hostages.”

“From the point of view of the rule of law and even diplomacy, I think all this is completely disrespectful,” he said.

For Krusty, every conflict provides a “huge opportunity” and this is no exception. He said how Beijing has handled itself throughout the Meng case has shown the world better what “China has threatened.”

More importantly, he added, the lawsuit clarifies “how Western democracies now need to rely more on each other, not only in the security and intelligence world, but also in the economic, financial and trade worlds.”

Omid Ghoreshi

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Omid Ghoreshi is a Toronto-based reporter of the era.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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