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Huawei exec faces US fraud charges linked to Iran, court hears

AFP  |  Vancouver 

Chinese Huawei's faces US fraud charges related to sanctions-breaking dealings with Iran, a heard Friday, a week after she was detained on an American request.

was arrested in Canada's Pacific coast city of on December 1 while changing planes during a trip from Hong Kong to -- ratcheting tensions between the and just as the countries' leaders agreed a truce in their trade war.

A asked the court to deny her bail, saying she has been accused of "conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions" and if convicted faces more than 30 years in prison.

She is specifically accused of lying to US banks about the use of a covert subsidiary to sell to in breach of sanctions.

The said that Meng had personally denied to American bankers any direct connections between and the subsidiary, SkyCom, when in fact "is " SkyCom's alleged sanctions breaches occurred from 2009 to 2014.

He suggested that Meng has also shown a pattern of avoiding the over the past year since becoming aware of the investigation into the matter, argued that she has no ties to and has access to vast wealth and political connections -- and thus poses a flight risk.

Meng's detention in came on the day of a summit at which US and his Chinese counterpart agreed to a truce in the escalating trade dispute opposing the two economic powerhouses.

says Meng -- the daughter of founder Ren Zhengfei, a former in China's People's -- has violated no laws in or the and has demanded her release.

and have exchanged steep tariffs on more than USD 300 billion in total two-way trade, locking them in a conflict that has begun to eat into profits.

Trump tweeted Friday that negotiations to defuse the high stakes dispute were "going very well" but the messages since Meng's arrest have been mixed, roiling global stock markets.

Her appearance at the in is a prelude to an process that could take months.

CNN, quoting an unnamed official, said the United States saw the arrest as providing leverage in US-trade talks -- although has denied any link to the dialogue.

On Friday, nevertheless alleged that Meng, known internally as the "princess" of Huawei and possible heir to the throne, had become a pawn in the dispute.

"The should seriously mull over the US tendency to abuse legal procedures to suppress China's high-tech enterprises," said the nationalist tabloid in an editorial.

"Obviously, is resorting to a despicable rogue's approach as it cannot stop Huawei's 5G advance in the market," it went on.

Meng spent most of the past week at a women's detention facility in a suburb of

If she is released on bail, she would likely have to surrender her passport and submit to electronic monitoring until she is discharged or surrendered for trial to the United States. All security costs would be borne by her.

The process could take months, even years, if appeals are made in the case. reported on Friday that Meng's husband is believed to own at least one luxury home in the city.

Canada is one of more than 100 countries that have an extradition treaty with the United States, requiring it to cooperate with requests to hand over suspects.

This longstanding treaty requires that the offense for which extradition is being sought is also a crime in Canada.

A must decide if there is sufficient evidence to support the extradition, but then it is left to Canada's to sign the order.

On Thursday, defended Canada's arrest of Meng, saying politics played no part in the decision.

"I can assure everyone that we are a country (with) an independent judiciary," Trudeau told a tech conference in

Huawei's affordable have made strong inroads in the developing world, but the company has faced repeated setbacks in major Western economies over security concerns.

Earlier this week, Canadian officials said was continuing to review Huawei's technology for use in upcoming fifth

The company faces being shut out of Australia, and US 5G rollouts, and group BT revealed on Wednesday it was removing Huawei equipment from its core

The five nations together form the "Five Eyes" intelligence alliance.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, December 08 2018. 05:25 IST