Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou says she has been left “in tears” by the support of the tech giant’s staff, whom she calls sons and daughters of the company.
“Your concern gives me warmth. Your support provides me power,“ Ms. Meng wrote in an internal company letter published Monday by the Global Times, a newspaper owned by China’s Communist Party. The letter is dated May 9. A Huawei spokesman confirmed its authenticity.
Ms. Meng was arrested in Vancouver on Dec. 1, and is preparing for an extradition hearing. She has been accused by U.S. legal authorities of fraud related to violations of sanctions against Iran. A B.C. court granted her bail on Dec. 11, on the condition that she wears a GPS monitoring bracelet, remains within a defined portion of the greater Vancouver area and returns home by 11 p.m. every night.
In an appearance at the B.C. Supreme Court on Wednesday, lawyers for Ms. Meng were able to delay extradition proceedings until after a separate hearing in late September to consider whether the prosecution should be obliged to disclose more evidence. She was also granted permission to move into a second multimillion-dollar home in Vancouver, a $13-million residence at a tony address.
Those living conditions are very different from those experienced by two Canadians detained in China following her arrest. Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have been interrogated for up to eight hours a day, held in rooms with 24-hour lighting and barred from going outside or seeing daylight. They have not been allowed to see family or a lawyer.
Chinese courts have sentenced to death two other Canadians this year on drug charges.
In her internal note, Ms. Meng made only passing reference to hardship during her time in Vancouver.
“Despite restrictions on my permitted range of movement, the colour and scope of my heart have never been so rich and broad,” she wrote.
In the past she had never “had such an opportunity to be so closely connected to 188,000 Huawei people,” she said, suggesting that has been a bright side of her arrest. “This kind of connection, which is close and warm, is as beautiful as spring.”
Indeed, knowing that Huawei employees have stayed up late in China to monitor her case in a distant time zone, and seeing former employees in court in Vancouver – who she described as “Huawei’s sons and daughters” – has left her “deeply touched,” she wrote.
She described “an unspeakable feeling rising from the bottom of my heart. I believe that every step forward I take, there are 188,000 Huawei people with me.”
And that, she suggested, “is exactly the power that make us hold hands tighter and strengthens the fortress of Huawei’s will.“
Lawyers for Ms. Meng have sought to fight her extradition on multiple grounds, arguing that she was denied her constitutional rights when she was arrested in Vancouver, and that the process against her in the United States has been tainted.
On Wednesday, one of her lawyers, Scott Fenton, cited remarks from U.S. President Donald Trump suggesting that the White House might be willing to intervene in her case if it served U.S. interests.
Those comments were “intimidating and corrosive of the rule of law,” Mr. Fenton said.
Huawei has said it places faith in the Canadian system of justice, while offering support for Ms. Meng’s legal arguments.
“Law enforcement officials are expected to follow the rules at all times, in all cases and for all people – citizens and visitors alike,” Huawei spokesman Benjamin Howes said last week.
With reporting by Alexandra Li