Case Meng Wanzhou: Ottawa may halt the proceedings, writes Louise Arbour

Affaire Meng Wanzhou: Ottawa peut stopper la proc├ędure, estime Louise Arbour

MONTREAL | The canadian government can and must stop the extradition procedure initiated against a leader of the chinese giant Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, at the request of the american justice, said Tuesday the lawyer of canadian Louise Arbour, contradicting the position defended by Ottawa.

Former High Commissioner of united Nations for Human rights, Ms. Arbour stressed on the public broadcaster Radio-Canada that such a decision could facilitate the release of two Canadians detained in China since the arrest of Ms. Meng, cfo of Huawei, in Vancouver on December 1, 2018.

Stopped nine days later, the Canadians Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat, formerly stationed at Beijing, and the consultant and businessman Michael Spavor, a specialist on North Korea, have been charged with espionage on Friday.

The detention of Canadians is widely perceived in the West as a measure of retaliation, which China formally denies.

“The law on extradition is clear: the minister of Justice may at any time withdraw the case management by the courts and put an end to the extradition request,” said the former judge of the supreme Court of Canada.

Parole and probation in Vancouver, Ms. Meng is accused by Washington of having bypassed u.s. sanctions against Iran. Beijing has repeatedly called on Ottawa to release her.

The wife of Michael Kovrig, Vina Nadjibulla, also believes that Ottawa should do more to secure the release of the two men, ” two pawns in a geopolitical game “, she said Monday at the public broadcaster CBC.

The prime minister Justin Trudeau has ruled out any exchange of prisoners in this case, reiterating Monday that the independence of the canadian judicial system.

“From the beginning, this was not in Canada’s interest to go forward with this request” for extradition to the United States, added Ms. Arbour, recalling that Ms. Meng is accused by Washington of having violated “the unilateral sanctions of u.s. against Iran” that Ottawa has never applied.

“It’s not as if we were to be asked to extradite someone who has committed a triple murder or sexual assault, it is a request for extradition based on charges which have a very high political content “, she said.

“It is more than high time that the minister exercises his authority, his liability under the act and to put an end to this process,” concluded the one who had charged former yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic when she was a prosecutor of the international criminal Court (ICC) for the former Yugoslavia.

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