On November 19th, Vancouver Sowmith Katragadda, an official from the Canadian Border Service, continued to testify in the British Columbia High Court on Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case.
Katrajada is the fourth official from the Border Service, and his work notes are more complete than his colleagues and superiors who have previously testified in court.
However, defense counsel pointed out that several witnesses of the Border Service, including him, collectively missed the most critical information on the day of Meng Wanzhou’s arrest on December 1, 2018.
Missing 4 hours
As can be seen from the work notes of Katragada, on December 1, 2018, the first line of his work notes reads “6:00, on duty”. Then, skip directly to the work content at 11:10. So, why is the content of more than four hours of work “missing”?
From the cross-examination of lawyers in court on the 19th, we can know that in fact, in these four hours, the Border Service and Katragada themselves have a lot of work.
Before 9:30 a.m., Katragada received a phone call from his boss, took a bag, and went to his boss’s office.
At 9:30 a.m., the Border Service and the Federal Police held a joint meeting. The meeting was agreed by the two sides on how to arrest Meng Wanzhou, and the police also produced an arrest warrant. It can be seen that this meeting has very critical elements.
However, no one of the Border Services Department recorded the meeting, including four witnesses. Not to mention the content and participants of the meeting, the meeting itself is “missing”. So, why can’t this meeting be mentioned? Did anyone give a password not to record the meeting?
Katrajada said that he knew after the meeting that the arrest of Meng Wanzhou was a major case, and he even made some preparations for it. Because we know that we may go to court in the future, we should pay attention to keeping relevant records. But isn’t it strange not to mention this meeting that lets him know the important case?
Missing critical information
Defense counsel pointed out that the work notes of several witnesses of the Border Service were missing several important information, including whether Meng Wanzhou would enter Canada on the same day, the phone call between him and his superiors, the threat of Meng Wanzhou and Huawei to Canada’s national security, and the Canadian federal police’s imminent arrest Meng Wanzhou.
The lack of these messages looks strange.
As a work note, it must involve the work content. Four witnesses who appeared in the border service said “cohestically” that they were worried that Meng Wanzhou and Huawei would threaten Canada’s national security, but none of them mentioned it in their working notes. Several witnesses of the Border Service claimed that the entry inspection of Meng Wanzhou was a normal procedure. In this case, why doesn’t anyone record it? After all, this so-called “normal” procedure is an important element just determined at the morning meeting. Moreover, the meeting decided that the police completed the arrest after the immigration inspection of Meng Wanzhou. This is definitely an unusual situation. Why is there no record?
This seemingly complete note of Katrajada is also full of doubts.
Catlagada admitted that this work note he copied from his boss Scott Kirkland, who is also one of the four witnesses of the Border Service. In his hearing on the 18th, he also said that he knew that the case was serious, so he should take work notes. This is inconsistent. He forgot to write his work notes and then went to copy his boss? Or does he actually have work notes, just don’t take them out to testify?
The defense lawyer directly said that it was suspected that Katragada’s work notes were deliberately missing a lot of key information. Judging from David Molko, a reporter of Canadian TV CTV, on a page of conference documents released on social media, there is indeed a possibility of making up lies after the fact.
Morco said on social media that the document was related to a meeting between the top of the Border Service and Katragada. From the content, it is not difficult to see that this is obviously a unified tone for the process of arresting Meng Wanzhou after the event.
Seeing this page of documents, we know why the testimony of several witnesses of the Border Service is so strangely consistent, and the so-called work records are also highly overlap.
During the hearing on the 19th, Katragada also admitted several important messages:
- 1. He admitted that the seizure of Meng Wanzhou’s mobile phone at the corridor bridge was at the request of the federal police, because the FBI wanted to get Ms. Meng’s mobile phone, and the seizure of the mobile phone was not for the purpose of immigration inspection.
- 2. He admitted that Meng Wanzhou had the right to wait for the next flight in the connecting area without entering the country. Meng Wanzhou also made it clear that he did not want to enter Canada. The purpose of the border service inspection of Meng Wanzhou was to assist the police in arresting.
- 3. He admitted that his radio call with his boss could be heard by the police, that is to say, the inspection process of Meng Wanzhou by the Border Service Bureau has been under the supervision of the police.
- 4. He admitted that Meng Wanzhou’s luggage was not checked. It is well known that baggage is an indispensable item for immigration inspection, that is to say, the immigration inspection of Meng Wanzhou by the Border Service Bureau is only a cover.