Massages and Private Shopping Trips Cushion Tycoon’s Detention

The Huawei govt, Meng Wanzhou, needed by the United States on fraud fees, has already been main a soft life in her gated, seven-bedroom mansion in Vancouver, out on $8 million in bail and awaiting the result of her extradition listening to.

But now it seems that her life as one of many world’s most well-known detainees is extra snug than beforehand identified, and that she needs much more freedoms, in response to new particulars that emerged throughout a two-day bail listening to this week.

Ms. Meng receives common non-public portray classes and massages on the mansion. She has gone on non-public procuring sprees at shops reserved for her and her entourage, albeit with a GPS tracker on her left ankle. She spent Christmas Day at a restaurant that opened only for her, her husband, her two kids and 10 different company.

This week, her authorized crew made one other request: that she be allowed to depart her dwelling with out safety guards. A choose is anticipated to rule on the finish of the month.

Ms. Meng, 48, daughter of Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, has been held in Canada for greater than two years on an extradition request from the United States.

Her detention has severely strained Canada’s relations with China. At the identical time, her luxurious dwelling circumstances have raised hackles in Canada, the place critics have contrasted them with the dire, truncated lives of two Canadians jailed by China in obvious retaliation.

This week’s listening to underlined how the pandemic has affected Ms. Meng’s life and spilled over into her authorized case. Her protection crew argued that her rotating safety element probably exposes her to the coronavirus. But the prosecution countered that she and her household had flouted pandemic protocols, by, amongst different issues, sharing plates of meals amongst a big group.

Ms. Meng was arrested at Vancouver International Airport in December 2018, throughout a layover on a visit from Hong Kong to Mexico. In an indictment against Ms. Meng and Huawei, the U.S. Department of Justice charged her with fraudulently deceiving 4 banks into making transactions to assist the corporate illegally evade U.S. sanctions towards Iran. She has denied the costs.

The Trump administration has argued that the corporate must be seen as an agent of the Chinese authorities.

Ms. Meng presently lives in a mansion valued at about $14 million Canadian {dollars}, about $11 million U.S. {dollars}, in Vancouver’s unique Shaughnessy neighborhood. She is allowed to maneuver comparatively freely in Vancouver; earlier than the pandemic, she attended a live performance by a Chinese singer.

But the phrases of her bail topic her to 24-hour surveillance by a safety crew, at her personal expense, and she have to be at dwelling throughout a nightly 11 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew.

Her confinement, although, has not been devoid of stress. Douglas Maynard, the president of the safety agency monitoring her, informed the courtroom that there had been a number of threatening letters despatched to her in June and July of 2020, and that the Chinese consulate had requested the Canadian authorities to return Ms. Meng instantly to China for her security.

In Canada, critics have contrasted her opulent dwelling circumstances with these of the 2 Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, who had been detained shortly after Ms. Meng’s arrest and accused of espionage. For two years, they’ve been remoted and subjected to harsh circumstances in jail in China, unable to see their households.

David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to China, accused China of holding the 2 Canadians for ransom. “Every step in the legal process against Ms. Meng is mirrored by a fake Chinese process,” Mr. Mulroney mentioned. “Meng is a princess in their system.”

During this week’s listening to, Ms. Meng’s protection crew argued that her safety guards undermined her skill to go exterior along with her kids as a result of the guards attracted an excessive amount of media consideration. Ms. Meng’s husband Liu Xiaozong testified that posed a possible well being danger to Ms. Meng since she had undergone surgical procedure for thyroid most cancers a number of years in the past and suffers from hypertension.

But prosectors from Canada’s Department of Justice argued that permitting her to roam freely with out guards posed an excessive amount of of a flight danger. Mr. Maynard mentioned that her ankle bracelet had failed “on many different times.”

Mr. Liu and their two kids — a daughter, age 12, and a son, age 18 — got permission to come back to Canada within the fall. He and the 2 kids plan to return to Hong Kong on the finish of February, he mentioned.

Mr. Liu acknowledged in courtroom that he and their two kids had contact with Ms. Meng throughout the two weeks after they arrived in Canada from Hong Kong, regardless of guidelines requiring a 14-day quarantine.

Prosecutors famous that in May, when a courtroom choice might have resulted in her being freed, a airplane had been chartered to probably take her again to China if the choose dominated in her favor. In the tip, the judge ruled against her.

Mr. Liu mentioned Ms. Meng would obey her bail circumstances, and needed to be a “good mom and a good example to the kids.”

Tracy Sherlock contributed reporting from Vancouver.

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