'Dollar clearing' doesn't give U.S. jurisdiction to charge Meng Wanzhou: lawyer

Meng Wanzhou's lawyer yesterday argued that making payments in U.S. dollars is not sufficient for the United States to claim their laws banning commerce with Iran apply to her or her China-based company.

The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — A lawyer for Meng Wanzhou says payments between a Huawei subsidiary and an HSBC client that were cleared in American dollars do not give the United States jurisdiction to charge the executive.

American authorities are seeking the extradition of the Huawei chief financial officer on fraud charges linked to a 2013 meeting in which they allege she lied to the bank about a subsidiary of her company.

The subsidiary, Skycom, was doing business in Iran, which authorities allege put HSBC at risk of violating American sanctions, and they also point to payments that were cleared through the United States.

However, defence lawyer Gib van Ert has told a British Columbia Supreme Court judge that the practice of "dollar clearing" is not sufficient under international law to allow the U.S. to charge Meng.

He says Meng is a Chinese national, HSBC is an English-Chinese bank, their meeting happened in Hong Kong, and the payments that were cleared through the American system were still foreign.

The lawyer read from expert reports that concluded the sheer volume of dollar clearing through the United States everyday means the country cannot assert jurisdiction over Meng on that basis.

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