Huawei CFO argues she's not a flight risk, seeks bail to remain in Vancouver

Meng Wanzhou, the arrested executive for tech giant Huawei, says she's not a flight risk and has "longstanding ties" and "significant property holdings" in Vancouver, according to newly released court documents.

Meng Wanzhou's bail hearing is set to resume Monday in Vancouver where she has 'significant property holdings'

Meng Wanzhou is the deputy chairwoman and CFO for the Chinese tech giant Huawei. She is wanted by the United States for allegedly contravening U.S. trade sanctions against Iran. (fensifuwu.com)

A top executive of China's Huawei Technologies argued that she should be let out on bail while awaiting an extradition hearing due to her ties to Vancouver and fears for her health while incarcerated in Canada, court documents released on Sunday showed.

Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou is fighting to be released on bail after she was arrested on Dec. 1 in Canada at the request of the United States. Meng was en route from Hong Kong to Mexico. 

Meng, 46, faces U.S. accusations that she covered up her company's links to a firm that tried to sell equipment to Iran despite U.S. sanctions, a Canadian prosecutor said on Friday, arguing against giving her bail while she awaits possible extradition to the United States.

In a sworn affidavit, Meng said she is innocent of the allegations and will contest them at trial in the United States if she is surrendered there.

The documents said the company's business in Iran was "relatively immaterial." 

The documents said Huawei communicated with U.S. government agencies on a "day-to-day" basis to get professional guidance on trade compliance, according to a presentation the company made in 2013. 

China has strongly criticized her detention and has demanded her immediate release. The arrest has roiled global markets amid worries it could torpedo a possible thawing of trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

In this courtroom sketch, Meng Wanzhou (back right) sits beside a translator during a bail hearing in Vancouver on Dec. 7, 2018. (Jane Wolsak/Canadian Press)

Meng also said she was taken to a hospital for treatment for hypertension after being detained.

The documents said she takes daily medication and has difficulty eating solid foods as a result of jaw and throat surgery for health issues related to sleep apnea. 

Owners of Vancouver properties

In a bail application seeking her release pending an extradition hearing, Meng said she has longstanding ties to Vancouver dating back at least 15 years, as well as significant property holdings in the city.

Her family also sought leave to remain in Vancouver if she was granted bail, according to court documents. Her husband said he plans to bring the couple's daughter to Vancouver to attend school "depending on the length of proceedings."

The documents reveal that Meng, 46, was once a permanent resident of Canada and show pictures of Canadian government-issued identification, including her social insurance number and B.C. ID.

The family still spends "significant portions of their summers in Vancouver," the documents said. 

Meng Wanzhou's ties to Vancouver go back 15 years, according to court documents. (Maxim Shipenkov/EPA)

A statement from her husband, 43-year-old venture capitalist Xiaozong Liu, said that the couple primarily lives in Shenzhen, China, but owns two West Side homes in Vancouver — one in Dunbar, and one in Shaughnessy. 

The documents said Meng's children attended school in Vancouver between 2009 and 2012. 

A letter from the headmaster of the private school one of her sons attended stated that Meng was "always a supportive parent." The headmaster goes on to say that the school has kept in touch with the family since his graduation. 

Not a flight risk: documents

The documents also argue that the release would be conditional on Meng relinquishing all of her travel documents. 

"The applicant cannot board an airplane without a passport, and the only country to which she could flee via car is the very country that seeks to extradite her," the document said.

Allegations that she would flee are "wholly speculative," court documents said, adding that her public persona also mitigates against the possibility that she would flee.  

With files from CBC News and The Canadian Press