Meng Wanzhou extradition hearings could extend into 2021
Legal disagreements at the B.C. Supreme Court in the extradition instance of Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou may extend into next year. A lot more on potential blowback from China due to the Meng Wanzhou case:
Holmes has actually concurred to consider designating a “referee,” whom the protection suggested need to be a retired court, to accelerate accessibility to disclosure info.
Last week, Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes dismissed the first phase of arguments by Meng’s lawyers, who claimed the case should be thrown out because the U.S. allegations against her wouldn’t be a crime in Canada.
Frater said the Crown will be disclosing new documents to Meng’s lawyers on Friday and the defence may pursue further litigation regarding privileged information.
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Appointment of a referee
Holmes has agreed to consider appointing a “referee,” whom the defence suggested should be a retired judge, to accelerate access to disclosure information.
Holmes said that while she has experience with independent arbiters in the pre-trial phase of a case, she has never appointed one in a case that already had a dedicated judge.
“I certainly would be willing to consider it. Quite frankly, it’s not something I have done before so I would need to know how the process would work,” Holmes said.
Defence lawyer Scott Fenton said the responsibilities of the referee could be worked out and presented to the court for its review and approval.
The idea would be to offload most of the decisions about which documents or information must be released to the defence, and if either side wants to dispute a ruling, that challenge would come to Holmes.
“It can bring tremendous efficiency to this somewhat tedious process of working out privilege claims,” he said.
The court is preparing to hear several other arguments in the case, including whether the way Meng was arrested and detained at Vancouver’s airport in December 2018 constituted an abuse of process.
According to the original schedule, the final legal arguments were to have occurred this fall as long as the extradition proceeding wasn’t thrown out before then.