The chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei smiled and wiped tears from her eyes on Tuesday as a Canadian court granted her bail following a gruelling three-day hearing in Vancouver.
Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, was ordered to post a 10-million-Canadian-dollar (7.47-million-US-dollar) bail, including a cash deposit of 7 million Canadian dollars.
Meng will have to surrender her passports and also abide by more than a dozen conditions imposed by the court.
These include respecting a curfew, having to wear a GPS tracking device at all times and being monitored round-the-clock by a security team that she has to pay for herself.
Meng, who was arrested in Vancouver earlier this month at the request of US authorities, will be allowed to move only within a strictly defined area of the city.
The 46-year-old could face extradition to the US over allegations she was involved in violating sanctions on Iran, with each charge carrying a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
Justice William Ehrcke said the US government had 60 days to present a formal extradition request from the moment of Meng’s arrest at the Vancouver airport on December 1.
If no extradition request is received by January 8, 2019, Meng must be freed, Ehrcke said.
Meng’s next court appearance is set for February 6, 2019.
Her bail hearing began in Vancouver on Friday.
Canadian government prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley said the US Justice Department has flagged her as a possible flight risk and asked the court to deny bail to Meng, citing the enormous financial resources at her disposal.
But Meng’s lawyer David Martin told the court on Monday that given her high profile position “of a Chinese corporate national champion” his client would never skip bail as doing so would “embarrass China itself.”
Meng also said in a sworn affidavit that she’d suffered numerous health problems, including surgery for thyroid cancer in 2011, and had to be treated at a Vancouver hospital for hypertension after her arrest.
“I continue to feel unwell and I am worried about my health deteriorating while I am incarcerated,” Meng said in the 55-page affidavit.
Martin also argued that Meng, a former permanent resident of Canada, had strong connections to the country and would remain in Vancouver where she owns two multi-million-dollar houses, along with her husband and her daughter, while her case proceeds.
Meng’s husband, Liu Xiaozong, told the court he was ready to move to Canada and post a 15-million-Canadian-dollar (11.2-million-US-dollar) bail and act as a community surety to make sure she abides by all the conditions.
Meng’s arrest, which occurred on the same day that US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met after the G20 summit in Buenos Aires to hammer out a 90-day truce in their trade war, has escalated tensions between Beijing, Ottawa and Washington.
Beijing seemingly upped the ante on Tuesday by arresting a former Canadian diplomat after threatening that Canada would suffer “serious consequences” if it didn’t release Meng.
Michael Kovig’s arrest raised the stakes for Canada and was interpreted by most observers as part of a no-holds-barred Chinese strategy to prevent Meng’s extradition to the US, where she faces charges of conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions.