<figure> <img src="https://cdni.rt.com/files/2018.12/article/5c0aa9b0fc7e9362668b45f1.JPG"> <figcaption>US National Security Adviser John Bolton. © Reuters / David Mdzinarishvili
<strong>The saga into the arrest of a top Huawei executive continues, with John Bolton saying he knew the woman was going to be detained ahead of time. However, the national security adviser’s own spokesman says he didn’t have a clue.</strong> In an NPR interview on Thursday, Bolton said he knew ahead of time that Meng Wanzhou, the global chief financial officer at the Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei, was going to be arrested in Canada. She faces possible extradition to the US for allegedly breaking a trade embargo with Iran.
“I knew in advance, but this is something that we get from the Justice Department and these kinds of things happen with some frequency,” Bolton said, while stating that he was unsure if President Donald Trump knew the arrest was coming. “We certainly don’t inform the president on every one of [these arrests].”
But Bolton’s own spokesperson has a different story to tell. Just hours after the national security adviser’s comments to NPR, the spokesperson told CBS News that neither Bolton nor Trump were aware of the arrest before it happened. He said Bolton’s comment about “knowing in advance” was in reference to a briefing Bolton received between the time of the Vancouver arrest on December 1 and the news being made public on December 5.
During his interview, Bolton declined to go into detail about Meng’s arrest. However, Reuters has cited people familiar with the investigation as saying she was connected to an alleged scheme to use the global banking system to circumnavigate US sanctions against Iran.
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Reuters also reported that Huawei has been under a microscope for so-called sanctions-busting since 2016, and that the Chinese company was more recently investigated for reportedly using HSBC Holdings plc to make illegal transactions involving Iran. HSBC is not under investigation, however, according to sources cited by the news agency.
Huawei, for its part, has denied any wrongdoing, saying it complies with all laws and regulations where it operates – including export controls and sanctions of the United Nations, US, and the European Union.
Meanwhile, Beijing has called on the US and Canada to “clarify the reasons” for Meng’s detention and to “immediately release” her, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Thursday.
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