The Canadian Politician (Toronto) – The on-going SNC-Lavalin scandal that has embroiled the Trudeau government has played into the hands of the Chinese government in relation to the arrest of Meng, the CFO of tech giant Huawei. Weeks after her arrest, Trudeau categorically told the Chinese government that in Canada, there is a clear delineation between politics and the judicial process when he was asked to intervene in the possible extradition of Meng. Trudeau further emphasized that the legal process will determine her fate. Meng was arrested on December 1, 2018, on an arrest warrant from the United States.
However, the Chinese foreign ministry seized this opportunity to question the independence of the Canadian judicial system as touted by Trudeau. The Chinese skepticism came at a routine briefing in Beijing when a reporter asked a foreign ministry official if it was hypocritical of Trudeau not to interfere in the case of Meng, but yet seemed to have interfered in the SNC-Lavalin bribery case according to the testimony of the principal witness, Jody Wilson-Raybould.
The foreign ministry official, Lu Kang, deferred the question to the Canadian government and stated, “Of course I think that this is a question that should be asked of the Canadian government.” The official continued, “In fact on this case you have mentioned, people in Canada are paying it a great deal of attention. In fact, not only Chinese and Canadian citizens, but the whole world are extremely interested to hear how the Canadian government answers this question.”
It should be noted, however, that in spite of the controversy and the allegations of political interference in a judicial matter, the judicial process has not been compromised, affirming the true independence of the judiciary in Canada and the entrenchment of the principle of equal branch of government.
In the meantime, the Canadian government is expected to announce on Friday that extradition hearings will proceed, a process that will likely see Meng sent to the United States to face charges of circumvention of sanctions against Iran by using fictitious companies. The Huawei CFO has denied all charges.