United States to pursue extradition of Huawei CFO from Canada

More than 100 China experts call for the release of two detained Canadians

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Huawei said it had no comment on the ongoing legal proceedings, while US Justice Department officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

News that the United States will indeed meet a January 30 deadline to request Meng's extradition suggests the conflict over her case could stretch on for months, or even years, as Canadian courts consider the extradition case and process possible appeal.

Canada has been seeking global support for the men's release, prompting some choice words from China's Foreign Ministry.

The United States has told Canada it will request Meng's extradition, but has not said when it will do so, David MacNaughton, Canada's ambassador to the US, said in a Globe and Mail interview on Monday.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television in Davos on Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada has spoken to the US about the case, and has not asked the Americans to drop its extradition request.

The letter represented the latest effort to increase worldwide pressure over the detentions, which came days after Canada arrested Huawei Technologies Co.

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China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor on December 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng, who was arrested December 1 at the request of us authorities.

Under Canada's Extradition Act, a foreign entity makes a request to extradite a person whose alleged conduct is recognized as a criminal matter by both nations, according to the Department of Justice. Canada can not legally refuse to hold the hearing if USA authorities provide evidence that would justify a trial in Canada.

Canada is one of over 100 countries with which the United States has extradition treaties.

Asked about the case at the Liberal caucus meeting in Ottawa, Wilson-Raybould's replacement, Justice Minister David Lametti, has refused to comment given his pending, but expected, involvement.

The tech executive was released on bail by a Canadian court in December. "I'm not going to prejudge a decision", she said.

Guy Saint-Jacques, a former Canadian ambassador to China, signed the letter and noted it comes as Canada is working to rally worldwide support for the case.

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The letter signed by academics and former diplomats said the arrests of the two will lead to "less dialogue and greater distrust, and undermine efforts to manage disagreements and identify common ground". She is also suspected of misleading bank and investors with regards to a second company that was illicitly selling to Iran.

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Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig are still being held in China, where authorities say they are accused of offences that would endanger national security. "And on Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced the sentence handed down in Schellenberg's case", as NPR has reported.

That call has been echoed by Western allies including the U.S. and European Union.

A Chinese foreign-ministry spokeswoman attempted to play down the earlier remarks by Chinese Ambassador Lu Shaye, who told reporters in Ottawa last Thursday that there would be "repercussions" if Canada bans Huawei from 5G work.

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