A Canadian court granted bail on Tuesday to a top Chinese telecom company executive wanted in the United States in a case that has rattled relations between China and the North American allies.
The conditional release granted to Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei, came hours after the detention of a former Canadian diplomat in Beijing further stoked tensions.
Meng, who faces a US extradition bid on charges related to alleged violations of Iran sanctions, was granted Can$10 million (US$7.5 million) bail, ordered to surrender her passport and will be subjected to electronic monitoring.
“The risk of (Meng’s) non-attendance in court can be reduced to an acceptable level by imposing the bail conditions proposed by her counsel,” a judge in Vancouver said, prompting the courtroom packed with her supporters to erupt in cheers.
She was expected to be released shortly and will be allowed to stay at a luxury home owned by her husband, Liu Xiaozong, in Vancouver.
Her December 1 arrest in Vancouver has shaken China’s relations with Canada and the United States and raised concerns that it could derail a US-China trade war truce.
US officials have said the arrest was unrelated to the trade talks, but US President Donald Trump told Reuters he “would certainly intervene” in the case if it can help strike a deal with China.
Huawei is a strategically key company for China’s global high-tech ambitions, but some of its services have been blocked in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Britain over security concerns.
Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei’s founder, is accused of lying to bankers about the use of a covert subsidiary to sell to Iran in breach of sanctions. If convicted, she faces more than 30 years in prison.
The extradition process, scheduled to start on February 6, could take months, even years if appeals are made in the case.
Her lawyer, David Martin, argued that she was not a flight risk because it would otherwise “embarrass China itself”. She had also cited health reasons for requesting bail.
During a break in the proceedings, Martin said Meng looked forward to a break to spend with family, read novels and maybe apply to a doctorate program while the extradition case played out after “working hard for 25 years”.
Huawei said in a statement it was confident that the courts would “reach a just conclusion” in the case and stressed that the company complies with all laws and sanctions.