In a nutshell: Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, will face extradition hearings in January, and her lawyers have made a special request: don’t televise the proceedings in case it attracts the attention of Donald Trump.
It’s been almost one year since Wanzhou, daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada at the request of the United States. She’s alleged to have tricked banks into carrying out transactions that violated US sanctions against Iran.
Bloomberg writes that Meng’s lawyers said televising the case will increase the risk of Donald Trump intervening. After she was arrested, the president said he’d “certainly intervene if he thought it was necessary” to help secure a trade deal with China or if it’s in the US’s national security interests, though he hasn’t said anything else on the matter since then.
In court documents, Meng’s defense team wrote that televising the hearings “amplifies the risk that the President of the United States will once again intervene in the Respondent’s case, or harbor resentments, that are both threatening and intimidating.”
The team added that the CFO deserved the court’s protection because media attention on the case has been “overwhelming,” and that the extra attention Trump would bring could put pressure on how Meng defends herself and affect her chances of being freed.
“Her every move is scrutinized by the media, from her legal submissions to the clothes she wears,” her lawyers said.
At the start of the year, Ren Zhengfei said he’d take a wait-and-see approach as to whether Trump, who he called a great president, would intervene on behalf of his daughter.
Meng’s extradition hearing begins on January 20.