Huawei CFO Granted Bail, Must Post C$10MM Bond And Submit To 24-7 Surveillance

After three days and a lengthy recap of both the government's case for holding Meng Wanzhou and her defense attorney's case for offering her a surety bond, British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Ehrcke has ruled that he is satisfied with the terms Meng’s lawyer is proposing for her bail. The Huawei CFO will be released from custody and live at her Vancouver home under round-the-clock in-person surveillance, and she will also wear an electronic ankle monitor while she awaits extradition hearings. Meng must also surrender her passport. Meng must also cover all the costs of her surveillance, carry paperwork detailing the terms of her bail at all times, and submit to checks from the RCMP. She will also be subject to a curfew.

The financial terms of her bail were steep: They required at least five people to post $3 million in collateral and a $7 million cash deposit. Meng's next court date has been set for Feb. 6.

Meng

All of those who came forward are residents of British Columbia who came forward in court and affirmed that they would be comfortable contributing to Meng's bond, according to Global News. One of the individuals was a realtor who worked with the Meng family, another is a homemaker and family friend.

A Vancouver realtor who helped Meng’s family purchase their Vancouver homes said he will pledge his $1.8-million property and act as surety, the court heard. An insurance agent who has been a Canadian citizen since 1999 and once worked with Meng at Huawei also offered to act as surety. He said he has known Meng since the mid-1990s and is pledging $500,000 of equity from his $1.4-million home.

The third surety is a homemaker. Her husband used to work at Huawei and knew Meng well, the court heard. She pledged $850,000 of equity from her home on Vancouver’s west side.

Another surety is one of Meng’s Vancouver neighbours who says she is close to the family, particularly with the parents of Meng’s husband. She pledged $50,000 in cash.

During a review of the opposing cases for whether Meng should receive bail, Justice Ehrcke noted that Meng was arrested on a provisional warrant and that the US must complete documentation to lodge an official extradition request.

Meng's attorney has already selected a private security company that he asked be given the authority to apprehend Meng should she violate the terms of her bail. The company is called Lions Gate Risk Management. While on bail, Meng said she would like to remain in Vancouver to try and obtain her PhD at a local university.

On Monday, Meng’s lawyer David Martin suggested if she is granted bail, a private security firm — Lions Gate Risk Management — be given the authority to apprehend Meng if she breaches bail.

Lions Gate executive director Scot Filer said in the event bail was granted, Meng could be supervised by his company. His plan would include a dedicated driver and security team; an encrypted system for texting, videos, and GPS; a home security package; and a weekly itinerary provided by Meng.

Lawyers for the Canadian government have expressed concerns that hackers could tamper with Meng's electronic surveillance - hence the in-person guards.

Crown attorney John Gibb-Carsley said Monday the family did own two Vancouver properties, but Meng only visited the area two or three weeks every year.

Gibb-Carsley noted the risk of hackers impacting Meng’s electronic surveillance, raising the possibility, however remote, that the CFO of a global communications company has "the ability to compromise the system."

He also noted that Lions Gate has done security monitoring, but never monitored someone on bail. He called the risk associated with the case "an inch wide but a mile deep."

The CFO's supporters reportedly applauded after the decision was handed down. Meng reportedly turned around in court and smiled at her husband, and gave a brief wave to her supporters.

  • CANADA JUDGE SAYS MENG MUST REMAIN IN RESTRICTED VANCOUVER AREA
  • BAIL FOR HUAWEI CFO SUBJECT TO C$10 MLN GUARANTEE, INCLUDING C$7.5 MLN CASH
  • OTHER CONDITIONS FOR BAIL INCLUDE 5 SURETIES OR GUARANTORS

Huawei has released a terse statement addressing Meng's release:

Statement

And while so much of the focus on this case has focused on Meng's bail terms, @fxmacro makes a good point...the case is moving forward...that's what really matters here.