Meng Wanzhou, a Huawei executive who was detained in Canada for almost three years after the United States applied for extradition to return to the United States for trial, has obtained the consent of the United States prosecution without pleading guilty. The two sides reached an agreement to postpone the prosecution and obtained a Canadian court to revoke the extradition procedure. And release.
Rule of law and justice
Hong Kong did not postpone the prosecution process.
In the criminal procedure law, prosecution is a very important milestone. When the evidence is insufficient, the police should not rush to prosecute. This is a very basic spirit of the rule of law.
The most prominent example is when the suspect refused the "bail" offered by the police, but because the evidence at hand did not meet the standards for prosecution, the suspect could only be released. This is the so-called "kick bail" in the shop.
However, after the police have collected enough evidence, they can be arrested and prosecuted again.
The picture shows Meng Wanzhou reading a statement outside the Supreme Court of the Province of Beitou, Canada on September 24, 2021.
Conversely, if the evidence is already sufficient, the police should not delay the prosecution based on the spirit of procedural justice, otherwise it may constitute an unfair trial of the suspect in the future.
Even if they are still found guilty in the end, the court will inevitably consider the damage caused by the delay to the offender and make appropriate deductions and reductions of the penalty.
Although the prosecution cannot and should not be delayed, the trial date can be postponed according to the specific circumstances of the prosecution and defense.
Therefore, if the U.S. government sincerely respects the rule of law and justice, and this case is conducted purely based on the principles of the rule of law, the U.S. judiciary must have sufficient evidence to sue and apply for extradition to the Canadian courts. Apply and perform the prosecution responsibility of Active Prosecution (Diligent Prosecution).
What is deferred prosecution
In accordance with the 2013 Crimes and Courts Ordinance, the United Kingdom introduced a deferred prosecution procedure for serious fraud offences in 2014.
The key point is that after considering the public interest, based on the principles of fairness, reasonableness, and balance, the prosecution is willing to postpone or even not bring a prosecution agreement after the defense agrees to abide by certain conditions.
However, the nature of the incident must have a close relationship with the public, and it cannot be applied to suspects of natural persons.
The ancillary conditions involved generally include fines, compensation, and assistance in prosecuting criminal liability for individuals who violate the law.
If the company fails to implement the agreement in the end, the prosecution can restart the suspended proceedings.
On the contrary, if the company meets the requirements in the agreement within a certain period of time, the prosecution will withdraw the prosecution and the entire case will be completely concluded by then.
The so-called deferred prosecution in the United States is closer to Hong Kong's conservative behavior in terms of theory.
After the court accepted and reached a gentleman's agreement with the defendant on the basis of a specific case, the prosecution promised to continue the prosecution without providing evidence. In the end, the defendant only needs to fulfill the agreement reached with the court and the charges he faces After the agreement is reached, it will be revoked immediately.
Theoretically, it has never been tried, but the prosecution takes the initiative to withdraw the case. The prosecution can re-sue after the defendant violates the agreement, but generally the case is concluded after the case is withdrawn, and no follow-up investigation will be made for the crimes involved in the case. .
The reason for not pursuing anew is very simple. The signing of conservative behavior generally only involves minor cases, mainly considering the defendant’s good background and the crime committed is extremely minor, usually incidental and impulsive behavior under specific circumstances, such as family disputes. , Quarrels in public places, etc.
In order to give the defendant a chance to avoid being prosecuted, after reaching certain gentlemen's agreements with the court, the prosecution can be dismissed.
Another situation is that the prosecution’s evidence is weak and the probability of successful prosecution is not high. In order to save money and not continue to waste public money, the prosecution proposes to deal with the case as a plan.
Although the defendant may be really innocent, in order to avoid lengthy trials and avoid the uncertain risks involved in litigation, he can only accept aggrievedly to handle the case in a conservative manner.
However, not all cases are suitable to be handled in a conservative manner, especially fraud cases involving international financial institutions.
As a responsible court that needs to guard justice, it is impossible to approve such serious allegations in this way.
On September 24, the Canadian court announced the termination of the extradition hearing, and Meng Wanzhou was released immediately, ending nearly three years of house arrest.
The public is still unclear about the details of the agreement reached between the US government and Meng Wanzhou.
However, judging from the Canadian court’s original decision to issue an extradition application on October 21, this deferred prosecution agreement is the best step the U.S. government can find to dismantle this political bomb disposal before the verdict—but It still appears to be impoverished in terms of rationale, and it is not transparent to the public.
The governments of the two major powers spent three years targeting a common citizen. If Meng is not really well-founded, and relying solely on her as the top level of Huawei, it is absolutely impossible to have today's results.
For such disgraceful acts, should the governments of the United States and Canada give their citizens and the world a reasonable explanation?
Should the United Nations discuss the establishment of an independent investigation committee to go to the US Department of Justice to conduct in-depth investigations and research. Why did the United States make such absurd actions to prevent citizens of other countries from being arbitrarily prosecuted and extradited by it in the future?
After all, not everyone is as strong as Meng Wanzhou to fight these state institutions for a long time!
, Member of the Steering Committee for the Promotion of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government