Three Canadian border officers stood on the Vancouver International Airport jetway as passengers began marching out of Cathay Pacific Flight 838 on December 1 after the long journey from Hong Kong. It was 11.15am. According to a police description they had received, the officers were waiting for a woman in a “white T-shirt (lettering)/dark pants/white shoes/carrying large purse/bag”. This was Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei. Among the details from the fullest account of events leading up to Meng’s arrest at the airport that day – a moment that would reverberate through US-China relation s and trigger a full-blown diplomatic crisis between China and Canada – was that one of the officers, Scott Kirkland, was carrying two “Faraday bags”, according to her lawyers. The shiny Mylar receptacles are designed to prevent wireless access to electronic devices and prevent them being illicitly wiped or altered. The border officers wanted Meng’s phones, her lawyers say, as part of a “covert criminal investigation” being conducted on behalf of the American FBI, but under the guise of a routine Canadian border examination. Meng’s formal arrest was being deliberately delayed, the lawyers say, to assist evidence-gathering efforts that they described as an “abuse of process”. The account emerges in her legal team’s memorandum of fact and law, which will likely form the basis of her extradition battle that is expected to last until at least October 2020. The US wants Meng to face charges of bank fraud, linked to Huawei’s supposed breach of US sanctions on Iran. The memo was filed on Friday and released to the media late on Tuesday. It claims that the December 1 trip – en route to Mexico, with business colleague Hui Ji – was Meng’s 52nd visit to Canada in nine years. It added that she had recently travelled to Canada on October 5, 2018, a trip the memo says occurred “after the warrant for her arrest had been issued in New York”. The word “after” was underlined in the memo. How an HSBC investigation led to charges against Huawei CFO The memorandum was among a series of documents and evidence tendered by Meng’s lawyers that British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Heather Homes ordered released at a hearing on Tuesday. She cited the interests of transparency, given public interest in the case. Both Meng’s lawyer, David Martin, and Canadian crown lawyer John Gibb-Carsley, representing the US claim, had agreed on the material’s release before the exhibits had been formally filed. Gibb-Carsley said the media should be trusted to note that the Meng team’s material tells only one side of the story. The crown’s version of events and competing material will be filed by September 17. Among the material released this week were five videos shot at Vancouver International Airport on December 1 that show Meng with border officers as they searched her luggage and led her through the terminal. The material released on Tuesday does not show Meng’s initial detention or subsequent arrest, which her lawyers say did not take place until about three hours after she was met by Kirkland and the other officers and after her phones had been put in the Faraday bags. A key part of the Meng team’s case is the claim that Canadian officers defied a judge’s order that they “immediately arrest” Meng, and instead subjected her to a lengthy border inspection that in reality represented an unlawful attempt to gather evidence to bolster the US case against her. This was done, they say, without Meng being properly informed of her rights. The Meng team’s 98-page memo says Canadian police, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers and the FBI “carried out a plan to unlawfully detain, search and interrogate her on December 1, 2018”. “The applicant [Meng] alleges that these authorities engaged in a ‘covert criminal investigation’ under the guise of a routine inspection,” it says. In the account, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant Janice Vander Graaf and Constable Gurvinder Dhaliwal were also watching events unfold on the jetway as Meng and Ji were identified by the border officers. But the police officers did not immediately step in to arrest Meng, it says. Instead Vander Graaf and Dhaliwal followed the CBSA officers as they led Meng away to a screening area, the memo says, without alerting her that she was going to be arrested. “Neither Vander Graaf nor Dhaliwal identified themselves to the applicant even though they were aware that the arrest warrant required them to ‘immediately arrest’ her,” it adds. Is she prisoner or boss? Meng Wanzhou’s private jailers act like bodyguards At a secondary screening area, border officers went through Meng’s bags and seized other electronic devices, according to her lawyers. Then another CBSA officer, Sanjit Dhillon, began to question Meng around 1pm in a way that “focused on the applicant’s business dealings in Iran”, the memo says. This was still without disclosing that Meng was soon to be arrested, the account says. “The subject was then asked if her company sold products in countries that they should not,” Dhillon is quoted as saying in his sworn declaration. “The subject appeared confused by the questions. I rephrased the question and asked the subject if her company sold products or did business in Iran. The subject initially state ‘I don’t know’.” It was not until 2.15pm that CBSA officer Sowsmith Katragadda led Meng into a room where Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers were waiting. Constable Winston Yep told Meng she was under arrest, then informed her of her right to a lawyer at 2.27pm. The supposed three-hour delay in Meng’s arrest and the gathering of evidence against her by border officers, without telling her that she was about to be taken into custody, was decried by her lawyers. “This misconduct included delaying the arrest of the applicant by willfully defying an order of this court, deceiving the applicant as to the nature of her detention to avoid the constraints of the Charter [of Rights and Freedoms] and abusing compulsion/search powers granted to CBSA officers for the purpose of collecting evidence for the FBI,” the memo says. In addition, the premise of the arrest also represented an abuse of process by the US, the memo argues. “Specifically, the US is attempting to use these extradition proceedings for economic and political gain, as evidenced by statements of the president of the United States that he would ‘intervene’ in the applicant’s case if it suited US economic interests,” it says. Meng did not attend Tuesday’s hearing. She is not due back in court until September 23, for disclosure hearings. The formal extradition hearing is not scheduled to begin until January.