The ruling does not determine Meng’s guilt or innocence, only whether her actions would be considered a crime under Canadian law. Meng and Huawei have denied the US allegations.
Canada’s Department of Justice said in a statement Wednesday that another hearing later this year will “determine whether or not the alleged conduct provides sufficient evidence of the offense of fraud to meet the test for committal under the Extradition Act.”
“An independent judge will determine whether that test is met,” the statement reads. “This speaks to the independence of Canada’s extradition process.”
Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested at the request of the United States in December 2018 at the Vancouver airport, where she had to surrender her passports and agree to live in one of two homes she owns in the city.
The case is one in a series of actions the US officials have taken against the Chinese tech giant in recent years.
During the January hearing, lawyers for Meng argued that what she’s accused of does not break Canadian law, because the US allegations hinge on sanctions against Iran that do not exist in Canada. But prosecutors from Canada’s Attorney General’s office argued that the allegations, which include lying to a bank with the potential for causing loss, would amount to a Canadian fraud charge, and that Meng should therefore be committed for extradition.
“Lying to a bank in order to get financial services that creates a risk of economic prejudice is fraud,” Robert Frater, a lawyer for the attorney general, said during the January hearing, adding that the actions put HSBC at risk of US penalties for sanctions violations and reputational damage.
The judge’s Wednesday ruling came to a similar conclusion. Holmes wrote in the ruling that Meng’s argument that double criminality was not met because of the application of US sanctions “would give fraud an artificially narrow scope in the extradition context.”
Holmes added: “The double criminality requirement for extradition is capable of being met in this case. The effects of the US sanctions may properly play a role in the double criminality analysis as part of the background or context against which the alleged conduct is examined.”
A spokesman for the US Department of Justice said in a statement on the ruling that “the United States thanks the Government of Canada for its continued assistance pursuant to the U.S./Canada Extradition Treaty in this ongoing matter.”