Arrested Huawei CFO potentially faces decades in jail
Not playing around.
Not playing around.
Image: VCG / getty

Things are not looking up for Huawei's CFO. 

Wanzhou Meng, arrested Dec. 1 in Vancouver and facing possible extradition to the U.S., had a bail hearing today in which it was made clear that she is looking at some serious jail time for allegedly misrepresenting to authorities the relationship between Huawei and SkyCom, which did business in Iran. 

According to AP, the prosecutor said she portrayed the two companies as separate, while the U.S. claims Huawei and SkyCom are connected, and thus Huawei violated U.S. sanctions against Iran. 

Reporters in attendance tweeted details from the hearing, and noted the shocked reaction from the gathered crowd upon learning the possible severity of Meng's punishment were she to face trial and be found guilty. 

Dave Lee of the BBC reported "[gasps] in the court" when it was announced that Meng could be hit with "multiple charges each with maximum penalty of 30 years in prison."

According to the Washington Post, Weng was arrested while in transit from Hong Kong to Mexico. 

Deirdre Bosa of CNBC, who was also in attendance, reported on the calculations the court must consider when potentially setting bail for someone of such extraordinary wealth. 

"Meng being released on $1 million bail would be like asking upper middle class Canadian family to cough up $136," she paraphrased the Crown as explaining, before noting that Meng's "father has a net worth of $3.2bn."

There is still a chance Weng will make bail, however, with Bosa reporting the arguments being made in Weng's favor. 

China, meanwhile, has officially demanded Meng's release. In a statement reported by the Post, a spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry called the detention a human rights violation. 

“To detain someone without giving clear reason is an obvious violation of human rights,” read the statement from spokesperson Geng Shuang.

We'll soon know if the Canadian courts are amenable to that argument. 

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