Huawei took Britain’s HSBC bank to court on Friday to get it to hand over the documents, in a new legal maneuver by the Chinese tech company that is fighting to prevent Canada’s extradition of its chief financial officer (Meng Wanzhou) to the United States.
And theProgressed Huawei has applied to the UK Supreme Court for documents it believes will show the CFO did not mislead the bank about evading sanctions against Iran, as US authorities claim.
The legal demand further complicates the geopolitical battle over the issue of fiscal responsibility, as it also adds to the pressure facing HSBC, which earns much of its revenue in China.
Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, was detained in December 2018 at the request of the United States while changing its Vancouver flights.
The US government accuses Huawei of using a bogus company in Hong Kong called Skycom to sell telecommunications equipment to Iran.
Wanzhou is fighting extradition to the United States, where she has been charged with fraud by misleading HSBC about the company’s business dealings in Iran.
Huawei’s legal case focuses on an August 2013 PowerPoint presentation that Wanzhou gave to a senior HSBC executive in Hong Kong, who explained the company’s relationship with Skycom and its compliance efforts.
The Wanzhou legal team accused the United States of using a misleading summary of the meeting that carefully selected PowerPoint slides.
The attorneys want access to the entire PowerPoint presentation, which they say demonstrates that Wanzhou made clear the relationship between Huawei and Skycom.
The company also wants the records to better understand who in the bank knows about the meeting and what was discussed.
Huawei’s lawyer (James Lewis) said at the hearing: Wanzhou needs these documents to have a fair hearing in Canada.
He explained that the US authorities refused to provide the documents, but nothing prevents their defense from using them if he can obtain them independently of the US Attorney’s disclosure.
The HSBC lawyer told the judge: The request should be rejected because the court does not have jurisdiction.
The bank added in a media statement: This UK disclosure request is baseless, and HSBC is not a party to the primary criminal case in the US or extradition proceedings in Canada.
Judge (Michael Fordham) Michael Fordham said: He aims to issue a written judgment within seven days in the Huawei and HSBC case.
Canada’s extradition process for Wanzhou, which is still free on bail in Vancouver, is scheduled to continue on March 1 and may take years longer to complete.