Keeping an eye on Communist, Totalitarian China, and its influence both globally, and we as Canadians. I have come to the opinion that we are rarely privy to truth regarding the real goal, the agenda of Red China, and it's implications for Canada [and North America as a whole]. No more can we rely on our media as more and more information on China is actively being swept under the carpet - not for consumption.
Friday, September 24, 2021
Biden accepts plea bargain and releases Meng Wanzhou from extradition
KINSELLA: Will Huawei CFO's release prompt China to free Canada's two Michaels?
Meng Wanzhou's deferred prosecution agreement means Trudeau will be under more pressure than ever to secure the freedom of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, but don't hold your breath
Author of the article:
Sep 24, 2021
Meng Wanzhou, who did wrong, goes free.
The two Michaels, who didn’t, remain imprisoned.
lcome to justice in the Justin Trudeau era: the guilty win, and the innocent lose.
It all happened yesterday, a Friday afternoon, which is typically when governments do the dirtiest deeds, in the hope that fewer will notice. But we noticed.
Here’s what happened: as this newspaper has previously reported, Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was facing prosecution for bank and wire fraud charges in the United States — for allegedly lying about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran.
She was detained at Vancouver’s airport in 2018, at the request of American authorities, and was facing extradition to the U.S. And she’s been fighting extradition ever since.
Huawei, meanwhile, was charged by the Americans with operating as a criminal enterprise, stealing trade secrets and defrauding financial institutions. It has pleaded not guilty and still faces prosecution.
But Meng Wanzhou isn’t anymore. U.S. Justice Department officials reached a deferred prosecution agreement on Friday afternoon with Meng Wanzhou that freed her from house arrest in Canada and enabled her to jet back home to China.
It was, the Washington Post dryly noted, “a major development in an ongoing investigation that could have geopolitical implications.”
It sure could. But not, apparently, for Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, who have been illegally imprisoned in China on bogus charges of espionage for more than 1,020 days.
Spavor and Kovrig — whose family members allege have faced torture — remain behind bars. Any attempts by the government of Justin Trudeau to secure their freedom have failed, utterly.
And Friday’s deal to ferry Meng Wanzhou back to China? It doesn’t include a deal to free the two Michaels. At all.
Pointing out that the Trudeau regime is useless internationally isn’t really front-page news, of course. Trudeau’s efforts internationally have been a laundry list of abject failure: he failed to get a seat on the United Nations security council.
He failed to boost foreign investment in Canada. He failed to rebuild our reputation as peacekeepers in international hotspots. Internationally, Trudeau has led Canada to defeat after defeat.
he Meng Wanzhou deferred prosecution agreement is yet more evidence of that. How in God’s name can she be permitted to go free, and the two Michaels are not? How could Trudeau permit the Joe Biden administration to cook up such a deal without addressing the plight of our own citizens?
Under the so-called deferred prosecution deal, federal prosecutors agreed to defer — and then ultimately drop — the charges against Meng.
To anyone who has followed this sordid affair, it has been obvious that the imprisonment of the two very innocent Michaels was China’s petulant and illegal response to the detention of Meng Wanzhou — even though Meng’s “detention” was mere house arrest and included plenty of posh shopping sprees and high-end jaunts around British Columbia’s Lower Mainland.
Trudeau, now returned to power with a mere minority, will be under more pressure than ever before to secure the freedom of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig. The single largest roadblock to their release has now been removed.
Will Trudeau try? Will he be successful?
Judging by his past record, no one should hold their breath.
Meng Wanzhou free to go in B.C. after U.S. extradition order withdrawn
The resolution of the contentious prosecution raises the prospect of freedom also for Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor
Author of the article:
Sep 24, 2021
Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou talks to media at British Columbia Supreme Court after her extradition hearing ended in her favour, in Vancouver.
After nearly three years of bitter legal and political strife, Meng Wanzhou is free to go.
A B.C. Supreme Court judge signed off on a discharge order for Meng at a hearing Friday afternoon, withdrawing a U.S. extradition order and allowing her freedom.
Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes thanked Meng for her behaviour during the hearing and released her from bail conditions.
Earlier in the day, Meng and U.S. prosecutors cemented a deal that will see the charges against the Huawaei executive eventually dropped, ending a prosecution that had plunged Canada-China relations into an historic deep freeze.
Meng began a brief hearing in the U.S. federal court in New York by pleading not guilty to several fraud charges, which led to her arrest in Vancouver on an American extradition request.
But she agreed to a four-page statement of facts that said she had made untrue statements to a major bank, wrongly denying that Huawei controlled a company whose work in Iran violated American sanctions.
Those statements were at the heart of the fraud allegations.
The resolution of the contentious prosecution raises the prospect of freedom also for Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians detained by China in what many observers saw as a tit-for-tat response to Meng’s arrest.
But there was no mention of the “two Michaels” in the New York court session, which would have been even shorter if not for the proceedings being translated into Mandarin.
The “deferred-prosecution agreement” means that the U.S. is freeing Meng and will withdraw its request that Canada extradite her, said prosecutor David Kessler.
If she complies with the terms of the agreement, the charges will be dropped entirely on Dec. 1, 2022, he said.
Meng, appearing by video link from Vancouver, said through the translator she agreed to everything.
“Thank you, thank you,” she said in English to Judge Ann Donnelly as the hearing ended.
The Huawei CFO was arrested in December 2018 on the extradition application from the U.S. Justice Department, which charged her with fraud for allegedly deceiving a bank about the company’s dealings in Iran.
The daughter of founder Ren Zhengfei misled the bank — later identified as HSBC — about Huawei’s links to Skycom Tech, a firm it controlled that was doing business contrary to American sanctions, prosecutors alleged, dealing with an enemy.
Her arrest infuriated Chinese authorities, who to this day have accused Canada of kowtowing to the American government over what they characterized as a political ploy, while the extradition process unfolded sluggishly in a Vancouver court.
Within days of her detention, China arrested the two Canadian civilians — businessman Spavor and ex-diplomat Kovrig — levelling vague espionage charges.
The two men have been kept virtually incommunicado, barred any visits except sporadically by Canadian diplomats and allowed only limited access to legal help.
Meng, by contrast, was granted bail that allowed her to live in a Vancouver mansion she owns while wearing an ankle bracelet and shadowed by security officers to ensure she doesn’t flee the country.
Spavor was tried in March in a closed hearing, then convicted last month and sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Kovrig also had a trial in March but the verdict has yet to be announced.
In addition to the detention of the “two Michaels,” China increased the sentence on drug charges for Robert Schellenberg, another Canadian, from 15 years to death at a hastily conducted appeal hearing.
An appeal of that death sentence was rejected this August, a day before Spavor’s verdict was announced.
China also imposed restrictions on imports of canola and other Canadian products, while maintaining a steady drumbeat of accusations that Meng had been wrongfully detained.
A story by the Reuters news agency in 2013 first raised the issue of Huawei’s links to Skycom, which was selling telecommunications equipment in Iran.
At an August 2013 meeting in Hong Kong with HSBC executives, Meng insisted that, while it once owned some shares in Skycom, it was only a partner or third-party associate of Huawei.
“Those statements were untrue, because, as Ms. Meng knew, Huawei had … transferred Skycom shares from a Huawei subsidiary (Hua Ying) to another entity that was controlled by Huawei,” said the document she signed. Skycom employees were really Huawei employees, it said.
Meng told the bank that Huawei was in strict compliance with sanctions against Iran, but “these statements were (also) untrue,” said the statement of facts.
Friday’s hearing in New York started an hour late as Donnelly was held up.
Though interrupted at times with Meng’s video feed cut out, it proceeded with little of the drama that had marked the case over the last two and a half years.
Neither Kessler nor Meng’s lawyers gave any explanation for why they had entered the agreement, though the case has been a major sore point in relations between China and both Canada and the U.S.