CBSA accidentally gave Huawei CFO phone passcodes to RCMP

The Canada Border Services Agency mistakenly gave phone passcodes to the RCMP after Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested and her phones, laptop and tablet were seized.

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general revealed it had made the error during a court hearing on October 1st, the CBC reported. The lawyers were trying to talk down a theory that concluded the CBSA and RCMP were conspiring to violate Meng’s rights.

A Crown lawyer indicated that one error isn’t enough evidence to prove that there is a conspiracy, the CBC wrote.

“When we consider this part of the process and the fact that there was an error — that has to be looked at in the entire context,” the lawyer said. “The fact of an error in the process is not an air of reality that the process was a sham.”

The prosecutors spent the past two days arguing that Meng was not abused and that she was screened on an extradition warrant.

The senior Huawei executive was arrested in December and later, the U.S. charged her, Huawei and its subsidiary 13 counts of bank and wire fraud. She is currently facing extradition to the United States.

Huawei’s lawyers allege that Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers seized Meng’s electronic devices, asked for passwords and questioned her about Huawei without telling her that there was an arrest warrant.

The Crown argued that it had every right to seize her belongings. Meng’s lawyers are trying to get the court to issue an order to obtain records that will give more power to their claim.

“I advised the RCMP the passcodes should not have been provided by CBSA as the passcodes were CBSA information obtained during the CBSA examination, and that the passcodes could not be used to access the devices nor shared with a third party (ie. other law enforcement agency),” Vancouver airport CBSA chief of passenger operations Nicole Goodman said, according to the CBC.

“The RCMP confirmed they did not access the devices, and do not intend to access the devices at any time as it was not their investigation.”

Meng’s extradition hearing is set to take place in January 2020.

Source: CBC