Canadian PM: no political interference in Huawei arrest decision


FILE PHOTO – Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during the Assembly of First Nations Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, December 4, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday said his government had no involvement in the arrest of a top executive from Chinese technology giant Huawei, who was detained at Vancouver airport.

Trudeau said Ottawa had been given a few days’ advance notice about the plan to arrest Meng Wanzhou, who faces extradition to the United States. He declined to give further details, given that Meng faces a bail hearing on Friday.

The news pummeled stock markets already nervous about increased tension between the United States and China and prompted experts to predict that an angry Beijing would retaliate against Canada.

“The appropriate authorities took the decisions in this case without any political involvement or interference … we were advised by them with a few days’ notice that this was in the works,” Trudeau told reporters in Montreal in televised remarks.

Asked whether he had spoken to the Chinese premier or the ambassador, Trudeau said he had had no conversations with international counterparts about the case.

China’s embassy said late on Wednesday that it firmly opposed what it called an unjustified arrest.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Susan Thomas

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