The Canadian government has said that the U.S. will soon make a formal request for the extradition of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer.
“I have been told they [the U.S. Justice Department] will proceed,” David MacNaughton, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, told CNN on Monday. “We have had no indication that they will not.”
Meng was arrested at the beginning of December, which significantly strained relations between Canada and China. Since then, China has asked that the CFO be released, but Canadian authorities say that they are keeping Meng at the request of the United States. The Huawei executive has been suspected of helping the tech company evade U.S. sanctions on Iran.
According to a spokesperson from the Canadian Justice Ministry, they are still expecting the full extradition request from the U.S., the deadline for which is January 30.
The U.S. Justice Department refused to comment.
Canada has claimed the detention of Meng is a legal matter and it has been following international obligations. That statement has been undermined by comments made by President Donald Trump, who said last month that he might intervene in the case if that helped in the trade negotiations between the U.S. and China.
MacNaughton said he has “sought clarification that this is a legal matter and not a chip in a trade dispute.”
“There are Canadians being detained and one sentenced to death. This is serious stuff,” he said on Monday in an interview for a Canadian newspaper.
Shortly after Meng was arrested China detained several Canadian citizens on suspicion of “activities that endangered China’s national security.” Another Canadian was also sentenced to death on convictions of drug smuggling.