Iran connection emerges as Canada's envoy briefs China on Huawei arrest

Well did he? Bolton says he knew of Huawei exec’s arrest ‘in advance,’ contradicts own spokesman

Chinese telecom giant Huawei's chief financial officer, arrested in Canada, faces United States fraud charges for allegedly lying to banks about the use of a covert subsidiary to sell to Iran in breach of sanctions, a court in the Canadian city of Vancouver has heard.

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's chief financial officer, appeared in court on Friday as she sought bail in a case which has sparked a major global dispute between China and the US.

John Gibb-Carsley said Meng is alleged to have said Huawei and Skycom were separate companies in a meeting with an unnamed financial institution, misleading an executive with that institution and putting it at risk.

Canadian prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley said that the telecoms giant used a subsidiary, Hong Kong-based firm Skycom, to do business with Iran, bypassing United States sanctions.

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Meng's bio on the company website says she joined in 1993 and held various positions across the company, including director of global accounting and CFO of Huawei Hong Kong.

China says Meng - the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer in China's People's Liberation Army - has violated no laws in Canada or the United States and has demanded her release.

China has called for Meng to be released and world markets are watching closely due to fears that the case could escalate the trade war between the United States and China. Canadian President Justin Trudeau denied any political motivation and said that his government had no involvement with the police action or the judicial proceedings.

A Huawei spokesman declined to comment on Thursday before Meng's court appearance and said that Wednesday's statement still stands.

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Martin said two properties in Vancouver worth a total of $14 million could be put up for bail, and electronic monitoring and surveillance-based security could be used, although he said neither would be necessary.

In response to a specific question about Meng's arrest, Bolton opined about broader criticisms of Chinese technology firms, playing down the importance of Iran sanctions. The court heard she was en route from Hong Kong to Mexico.

Since then, Huawei has grown into the world's biggest supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies. The United States issued her arrest warrant on August 22, and BC issued a provincial arrest warrant for her on November 30. Last month, New Zealand refused a telecom company's request to use 5G technology from Huawei, citing national security concerns. Fleeing would cause Meng to lose "face", Meng's lawyer said. She holds a master's degree from Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

Meng's father, now 74, comes from rural roots, according to the Huawei website.

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Meng, who also has used the English names Cathy and Sabrina, served on the board of Skycom between February 2008 and April 2009, according to Skycom records, and several other past and present Skycom directors appear to have connections to Huawei.

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