Former parliamentarians and diplomats to write a letter requesting Canada to release Meng

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A group of distinguished Canadians, including former mps and high level diplomats, said the minister of Justice David Lametti should put an end to the extradition proceedings to the chief executive officer of Huawei Meng Wanzhou, in order to give Canada a chance to ” redefine its strategic approach to China “.In a letter to Prime minister Justin Trudeau, dated as of June 23, the signatories argue that Canada has the legal right to intervene to release Meng and put an end to the extradition trial that could send the United States. They cite to a legal notice published earlier this week by Toronto lawyer Brian Greenspan.

“There is no doubt that the extradition request of the United States has placed Canada in a difficult position. As Prime minister, you’re faced with a difficult decision. The compliance of the request of the United States has greatly upset China, ” says the letter.

The 19 signatories claim that the release of Meng may also release Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, the two Canadians who have been detained in China shortly after the arrest of Meng.

“The removal of the pressures of the extradition proceedings and imprisonment related to the two Michaels will open the way to Canada to decide freely and declare its position on all aspects of the relationship Canada-China.”

CBC’s Power and politics obtained a copy of the letter Wednesday.

The signatories argue that Kovrig and Spavor are held in conditions “tantamount to torture” and that the process of extradition of Meng for years could cause problems for the Canadians, because the delays ” will add immeasurably to the stress that they undergo “.

“The two Michaels have been taken in direct reprisals for the arrest in Canada of Meng Wanzhou. We believe that the two Michaels will remain in their prison cells chinese until Meng is free to return to China, ” says the letter.

The chief financial officer of Huawei Meng Wanzhou, left his home for the supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Monday, may 27, 2020. (Ben Nelms / CBC)

The letter was signed by the former supreme Court judge Louise Arbour, the former liberal minister of foreign Affairs, Lloyd Axworthy, the former minister in the conservative foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon, the former conservative senator Hugh Segal and former NDP leader Ed Broadbent, among others.

The signatories say that Lametti should be put aside concerns about the rule of law – in particular Canada’s obligations under its extradition agreement with the United States – and intervene politically to put an end to the British Columbia. judicial proceedings involving Meng.

“We argue that the time has come for the minister to do exactly that: put an end to the extradition procedure of Meng and to bring the two Michaels in them. ”

In 1999, the extradition act has been amended to include a specific provision that gives the federal minister of Justice the power to intervene in an extradition at any time of the judicial phase.

“The minister has the right to withdraw the authority to prosecute, and put an end to the extradition procedure, and it is entirely up to the discretion of the minister of Justice,” said Greenspan in an interview with CBC News on Tuesday.

“The question is not whether the [Canadian government] can, the question is whether they should. ”

Robert Fowler, a former diplomat who was held hostage by al-Qaeda in the islamic Maghreb in 2008-2009, has also signed the letter.

In an interview with CBC News, Fowler said that he had signed the letter because he wanted to do everything he could to bring Michaels to the house.

He said that the world is a “meaner and nastier” and that the rules-based systems are not as effective as they once were, to control the type of behavior of China.

“I think that we must do everything to bring these guys home,” he said. “You make concessions. It is an imperfect world … this is not a good idea to pay a ransom, that being said, you do what you have to do to take care of your people “, he said.

Critics argue that such an intervention would be a “dangerous game to play” because it would send the wrong message to Americans – namely, that Canada is ready to succumb to the political pressure of the chinese and the diplomatic hostages.

“I think that the first responsibility of a government is to ensure the health and safety of its citizens and the foreign policy is not simply to make fun of Donald Trump,” said Fowler.

The call for the liberation of Meng is also involved in the day where a dozen canadian senators call on Ottawa to take a harder line with China and to impose sanctions on officials of the communist Party in response to what they call a “behavior tyrannical” regime.

But the writers of the letter say that release Meng and obtain the release of Kovrig and Spavor ” would second the hands of Canada “, because the hearings extradition ” interfere with Canada’s foreign policy at a time when it is crucial to define it with clarity and boldness “.

While Kovrig and Spavor are held by China, Trudeau is reluctant to criticize the communist regime in Beijing, although he has been accused of violations of human rights by the detention of muslim uighurs and the suppression of democratic rights in Hong Kong.

A B. C. The court ruled at the end of last month that the allegation american against Meng – according to which it had committed fraud by misrepresenting the relationship of Huawei, a telecommunications company of iran when she asked for a loan from the bank HSBC – could also be considered a crime in Canada, and therefore the extradition proceedings against the executive of Huawei is expected to continue.

Under the canadian law on extradition, a person may not be extradited to be tried for charges foreign if the conduct underlying would constitute a criminal offence in Canada if it had occurred here.

The case of Meng pass now to another phase, in which a judge separate will decide if Meng should be extradited. The final decision to submit the executive chinese in the United States will return to Lametti.

Greenspan has suggested that Lametti could intervene now before a judge had the opportunity to have a voice.

The signatories argue that Canada would inevitably be faced in the United States, the largest trading partner and the closest ally of the country if he decided to put an end to the extradition process – but they suggest that the relationship can withstand this kind of crash diplomatic.

“This would not be the first time that Canada is separate of the United States, including on matters much more important, such as the refusal to join their invasion of Iraq. Our strong bilateral relations have survived all of these controversies, ” says the letter.

The letter was signed by Arbour, lloyd Axworthy, Cannon, Alan, Segal, former ambassador to the U.s. Derek Burney, former assistant deputy minister of Finance Wendy Dobson, a former ambassador to Japan and Korea Leonard J. Edwards, former permanent representative to the UN and security Council of the United Nations Yves Fortier, a former foreign policy adviser Robert Fowler, former deputy secretary general of the United Nations Louise Frechette, executive director of the world Council for refugees and migration, Fen Hampson, former ambassador to Germany and permanent representative to the united nations and the security Council of the United Nations Paul Heinbecker, a former ambassador to the United States Michael Kergin, former advisor to PMO in foreign policy Claude Laverdure, a former journalist and broadcaster Don Newman, former president of the research Centre for international development Maureen O’neil, former minister of foreign Affairs and international Development Andre Ouellet and former minister of Justice and attorney general Allan Rock.

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