fter three-days of courtroom drama, a Canadian judge has ordered that Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou be released on $10 million CAD bail ($7.4 million).
Meng is not only Huawei’s chief financial officer and deputy chairwoman, she is also the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, founder of the Chinese telecoms giant. Her arrest at the Vancouver airport on December 1st came at the behest of the United States where she faces charges of fraud related to Huawei allegedly violating sanctions against Iran.
On Friday her bail hearing began at the Vancouver Supreme Court. The unusual and complex case then continued on into Monday and Tuesday with government prosecutors asking that Meng not be released on bail, arguing that she is a major flight risk.
However, on Tuesday, the judge ruled that Meng should be released on $10 million CAD bail. The judge also ordered that Meng must comply with 16 conditions, including that she remain in British Columbia, surrender her passports, wear an ankle bracelet, and stay indoors between 11 pm and 6 am each night. Meng has two homes in Vancouver worth a combined $21.9 million CAD.
$7 million CAD of the bail must be paid in cash while the remaining $3 million CAD will be covered by the home equity and savings pledged by Meng’s neighbor, former colleagues, and realtor.
The long-awaited decision set off a loud round of applause inside the courtroom. Meng is reported to have wiped a tear from her eye while smiling at her husband.
Meng is scheduled to return to court on February 6th, 2019 in order to fix a further date for her proceedings.
The US will now seek her extradition, which is likely to take some time. According to Canadian authorities, the US says that Meng used a Huawei subsidiary called Skycom to evade sanctions on Iran between 2009 and 2014, misrepresenting Skycom to US banks as being unaffiliated with Huawei.
Meng has denied any wrongdoing.
Meng’s arrest has infuriated Beijing. The weekend was filled with fiery Chinese state media editorials accusing Canada of having violated Meng’s “human rights.” Meanwhile, China’s foreign ministry has warned Canada of “serious consequences” if Meng is not quickly released.
On Tuesday evening, it was reported that a former Canadian diplomat named Michael Kovrig had been detained in China. It’s not yet clear if the two arrests are related, however, the Canadian and American business community have been on edge of possible reprisals since Meng’s arrest. The US State Department is reportedly even considering issuing a travel advisory for China.
The arrest also comes during a 90-day trade truce between the US and China and has sparked fears that tensions will be reignited too soon between the world’s two largest economies. Incredibly, in a recent interview, US President Donald Trump is reported to have told Reuters that he would consider intervening in Meng’s case if it would help secure a favorable China trade deal.