Chief Financial Officer of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou leaves her home in Vancouver, Monday, October 26, 2020. The RCMP officer who arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou three hours after she was detained at Vancouver’s airport says he didn’t arrest her sooner out of respect for the jurisdiction of the Canada Border Services Agency. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Chief Financial Officer of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou leaves her home in Vancouver, Monday, October 26, 2020. The RCMP officer who arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou three hours after she was detained at Vancouver’s airport says he didn’t arrest her sooner out of respect for the jurisdiction of the Canada Border Services Agency. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Officer didn’t alert feds that CBSA would examine Meng before arrest, court hears

It’s one of several allegations of wrongdoing that Meng’s team is lodging against the RCMP and the CBSA

The RCMP officer who arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver’s airport says he didn’t know how long questioning by Canada Border Services Agency officials would delay her arrest.

Const. Winston Yep testified in B.C. Supreme Court Tuesday in the extradition case of Meng, whose lawyers are trying to show her arrest two years ago was unlawful and she should not be extradited to the U.S. on allegations of fraud.

“We didn’t know how long it was going to take,” Yep said. “We were not going to interfere with their examination.”

Yep also admitted under cross-examination that he failed to correct an affidavit prepared for him to sign that included a line saying Meng had no known connection to Canada, after border officials told him she had two homes in Vancouver.

Yep is the first in a series of witnesses called to testify this week at the request of Meng’s defence team, which is gathering evidence for arguments it will make next year that she was subjected to an abuse of process.

The defence has alleged there was a “co-ordinated strategy” to have the RCMP delay her arrest so border officials could question Meng for three hours under the pretence of a routine immigration exam.

It’s one of several allegations of wrongdoing that Meng’s team is lodging against the RCMP and the CBSA, along with accusations they kept intentionally poor notes and failed to arrest her immediately according to the warrant’s requirements.

READ MORE: RCMP officer says nothing unusual in U.S. request to arrest Huawei’s CFO

During questioning by Crown attorney John Gibb-Carsley on Monday, Yep told the court that the RCMP shares information with the CBSA as well as foreign agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States, subject to certain restrictions like personal information.

Yep testified that border officials told him before Meng was detained that she had two homes in Vancouver and they had concerns about her immigration status. He said they agreed CBSA would conduct its screening first after Meng landed in Canada, then Yep would make the arrest.

In cross-examination, defence lawyer Richard Peck questioned why Yep didn’t raise concerns about the affidavit he signed earlier when he learned of her Vancouver homes. Yep swore in the affidavit, which was required to execute the warrant, that he had knowledge of the case.

“If you knew she had ties to Canada … that would be the right thing for you to do, yes?”

“Yes, but I did not prepare the affidavit and it was my error in not recognizing that,” Yep responded.

He said he did not take any steps to verify the contents of the affidavit beyond reviewing a case summary provided to him at the same time.

Peck also asked Yep why he didn’t arrest Meng immediately after the plane landed or during a 13-minute window while she waited in a screening room before border officials questioned her.

“It could have been just as easy for you to arrest her as she stepped off that plane and handed her over to CBSA to do whatever they had to do and then take her away. That way she had her rights, charter rights,” Peck said.

Yep said that wasn’t discussed. He wanted to respect CBSA’s jurisdiction at the airport and believed he was still abiding by the arrest warrant’s stipulations for an “immediate” arrest, he said.

“My interpretation of ‘immediately’ is ‘as soon as practicable,’” he said.

The court heard the Department of Justice provided Yep with instructions on how to execute the arrest that included locating Meng, confirming her identity, arresting her and informing her of her rights.

Peck asked Yep if he alerted the Department of Justice that the CBSA would question Meng before he arrested her.

Yep said he did not.

Amy Smart, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

HuaweiMeng extradition

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A laboratory technician holds a dose of a COVID-19 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate that’s ready for trial on monkeys at the National Primate Research Center of Thailand. (Mladen Antonov - AFP)
Interior Health reports 66 new COVID-19 infections

570 cases are active; 18 in hospital

Reiner Jakubowski American Peony Society Registrar Nomenclature has named his latest Creation Castlegar. Photo: submitted
New peony hybrid named for Castlegar

Reiner Jakubowski has named his latest peony creation after Castlegar.

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Janet Austin, the lieutenant-governor of British Columbia, not seen, swears in Premier John Horgan during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Horgan says he will look to fill gaps in the federal government’s sick-pay benefits program aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. premier says province prepared to patch holes in new federal sick-pay benefits

Horgan said workers should not be denied pay when they are preventing COVID-19’s spread

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

Most Read