From his home near London, England, former Reuters foreign correspondent and fraud investigator Peter Humphrey has watched the Meng Wanzhou saga develop with great interest.
“The arrest sounds like it is based on very black and white information that has been gathered after a very long, professional investigation,” Humphrey told theBreaker.news Podcast host Bob Mackin. “The fact that Canada has released her on bail is really a very, very good sign that Canada is a country under the rule of law, in great contrast to all the scare stories that we hear in China.”
Huawei CFO Meng is accused of fraud by the United States for allegedly tricking banks to do business with an arm of the Chinese telecom giant in Iran. Meng will face extradition hearings in the new year. China retaliated by jailing Canadian businessman Michael Spavor and diplomat Michael Kovrig in Beijing.
Meng was freed on $10 million bail Dec. 11 by a B.C. Supreme Court judge. She surrendered her passports, is subject to a curfew, must wear a GPS anklet and can only travel within parts of Vancouver, Richmond and the North Shore with the security team that she must fund.
“It’s also a marked contrast to the barbaric manner in which I and my wife [Yu Yingzeng] were treated,” Humphrey said. “We were never bailed. I had prostate cancer, they knew, they didn’t want to admit it and tell me, and I was unable to get any medical treatment until I was released after two years in captivity. My wife had a kidney disease, same thing.”
Humphrey and Yu were charged in 2013 of illegally acquiring personal information of Chinese and convicted in 2014, after forced, false confessions on state TV. They were freed in 2015 due to international pressure.
“[The Communist Party of China] can do what they like. It’s not rule of law in China, it’s rule by law. That means the law is used as a toy or a big stick, held by those in power to bash the people that they don’t like.”
Listen to the full interview with Humphrey on this edition of theBreaker.news Podcast. Humphrey has complained to the U.K.’s broadcast regulator to ban China’s state broadcasters CCTV and CGTN because they participate in human rights abuses. Specifically by broadcasting forced, false confessions, like the one that he endured.
Also on this edition of theBreaker.news Podcast, highlights of the Transparency International Canada Vancouver Day of Action.
On Dec. 13, Transparency International Canada published the groundbreaking Western Canada Corruption Barometer. Host Bob Mackin moderated a panel discussion about the findings with the study authors, University of B.C. Okanagan professor Mike Zajko and lawyer Daniela Chimisso dos Santos.
In B.C., 26% of respondents saw the oil and gas sector as “extremely corrupt.” In Greater Vancouver, 37% called the real estate sector “extremely corrupt.”
Dos Santos, who focused on the extractive sector, found few of the 100 oil, gas and mining executives interviewed believe corruption is a problem. Few had heard about the 2015 Extractive Sector Transparency Measurement Act.
Hear Zajko and Dos Santos present more of their findings, plus commentaries.
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