Benjamin Howes

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Benjamin Howes
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Born (1979-01-10) January 10, 1979 (age 42)
St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada
NationalityCanadian
CitizenshipCanada
EducationB.Com
Alma mater
  • Upper Canada College
  • Dalhousie University
OccupationCommunications Strategist
OrganizationHuawei
TitleVice President, Public affairs and communications executive
Spouse(s)Liu Lifang
Parents
  • Kenneth Howes (father)
  • Juliette Delabbio (mother)

Benjamin Howes (born January 10th, 1979) is a public affairs and communications executive. Since January 2017, he has been working in public affairs and communications for Chinese telecommunication corporation Huawei, China's largest private company.[1] He is most recently noted for being the official spokesperson in Canada for Huawei and their Deputy chairwoman of the board and chief financial officer (CFO), Meng Wanzhou, who is facing extradition to the US since her arrest on December 1, 2018, at Vancouver International Airport by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at the request of the United States for allegedly defrauding multiple financial institutions in breach of US imposed bans on dealing with Iran.[2][3]

Early life, education and family

Howes was born on January 10th, 1979, in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada. He grew up in nearby St. Andrews, the second son of Kenneth Howes and Juliette Delabbio, PhD.[4] [5] Howes attended Upper Canada College in Toronto, as a boarding student in Seaton’s House. He graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He has two siblings, one older brother, Matthew Howes, and one younger brother, Alexander Howes. Howes is a second cousin of the Canadian diplomat and former politician, the honorable Ronald A. Irwin.

Career

After graduating from university in 2003, Howes moved to Seoul, South Korea and worked as an instructor at the Chungdahm Institute[6] and Wall Street English. He went on to work as a marketing manager for Jaseng Hospital of Oriental Medicine [7][8] and then became a public relations manager at the global headquarters of Samsung Electronics[9]. In 2015, Howes moved to Singapore and was the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for FlexM[10], a local fintech start-up. In December of 2016, Howes joined Huawei as senior director of international media affairs at the global headquarters in Shenzhen, China. At Huawei, Howes started out by helping journalists better understand the company’s history, culture and strategic management.[11]

Meng Wanzhou Canada-to-US extradition case

Following the detainment and arrest of Meng Wanzhou in December of 2018[12][13], Howes became a vice president of international media affairs for Huawei and an official spokesperson for the company in Canada and specifically for Meng.

On May 8, 2019, speaking outside the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver, Howes said, “Ms. Meng was innocent and that her arrest had been guided by political considerations and tactics, not by the rule of law.” [14]. The U.S. Justice Department's case against Meng is based on allegations that are "simply untrue," and Meng's business was conducted transparently with full knowledge of the banking officials who told prosecutors they were deceived, Howes said. “Howes argued that the extradition request is invalid because Meng's actions were not illegal in both Canada and the U.S.” [15] He went on to state, “Ms. Meng’s luggage was searched, her cellphone and other electronic devices were taken at the direction of the FBI and she was compelled to reveal her passwords.” He finished with, “Huawei has trust in the Canadian legal process and we look forward to seeing Ms. Meng’s freedom restored.”[16][17]

On June 6, 2019, Howes outlined the case for the defense in a statement to media Thursday after the court dates were set. “According to Canadian law, no one should be extradited to face punishment in another country for conduct that is not criminal in Canada. The U.S. allegations against Ms. Meng are based on violations of unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States on financial services in Iran. Canada does not impose any such sanctions," he said. "Upon her arrest at the airport, Ms. Meng was subjected to an unlawful search by Canadian authorities under the pretense of a routine border check. This is an abuse of Canada's extradition process and a serious violation of her rights," Howes alleged. The defense will request a stay of proceedings, arguing the case against her was guided by political and financial considerations by the United States, not the rule of law, Howes said.[18] [19]

On September 23, 2019, Huawei Canada posted a video to Twitter, with Howes saying the company wouldn't give detailed comments on the matter while it's before the courts. "We support Ms. Meng completely," Howes said in the video. "We believe she is innocent of all allegations against her. We have every confidence that she will be vindicated in keeping with the independence and fairness of the Canadian judicial process."[20]

On November 20, 2019, Howes said Huawei and its legal team believes the extradition fails to meet the Canadian standard of double criminality. Howes said the company is arguing that because Canada did not have sanctions against Iran at the time Canadian officials authorized commencing with the extradition process, double criminality cannot be met. The application doesn’t seek to challenge whether the facts behind the logic of this charge are true or not, Howes said, saying that the company would challenge this during a sufficiency hearing to be held in September, 2020.[21]

On January 20, 2020, as the hearing opened, Howes said it would be “inappropriate for us to give specific comments on the ongoing legal proceeding.”“We trust in Canada’s judicial system, which will prove Ms Meng’s innocence,” spokesman Benjamin Howes said. “Huawei stands with Ms Meng in her pursuit of justice and freedom.”[22][23]

On April 11, 2020, Howes confirmed that a first shipment of PPE arrived in Canada on March 22 but stated this had nothing to do with the ongoing case against Huawei's CFO. "Huawei will continue to provide medical masks and other needed equipment across Canada, but it is not something we wish to promote or publicize," he said. "We are simply trying to help, there is no ulterior motive. In times of crisis, we all need to pull together."[24]

On May 27, 2020, Heather Holmes, associate chief justice of the British Columbia Supreme Court, found that the case meets the threshold of double criminality - meaning the charges would be crimes in both the US and Canada.[25] Howes, said the company was "disappointed" in the ruling. "We have repeatedly expressed confidence in Ms Meng's innocence. Huawei continues to stand with Ms Meng in her pursuit for justice and freedom."[26]

In the media

           

References

  1. Liu (29 Aug 2018). "China unveils top 500 private firms, Huawei peaks list". Xinhua. XINHUANET.com. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  2. Horowitz, Julia (6 Dec 2018). "Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou arrested in Canada, faces extradition to United States". CNN. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  3. Wakabayashi, Daisuke; Rappeport, Alan (5 Dec 2018). "Huawei C.F.O. Is Arrested in Canada for Extradition to the U.S." The New York Times. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  4. "Juliette Lee Delabbio". researchgate.net. ResearchGate GmbH. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  5. "Browsing ETDs: Virginia Tech Electronic Theses and Dissertations by Author "Delabbio, Juliette Lee"". VTechWorks Home. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  6. "CHUNGDAHM Faculty Recruiting". teachinkorea.com. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  7. "Members of American Women's Club (AWC) Tour Jaseng Hospital in Seoul". theseoultimes.com. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  8. Mee-yoo, Kwon (24 Sep 2009). "Expats Ready to Help Seouls Globalization". koreatimes. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  9. "CTV Morning Live: Ticket to Korea Samsung". Ottawa. 11 Nov 2014. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  10. "FlexM Raised SGD 1.25 Million – Complete Mobile Solution For Financial Inclusion, Remittance and Electronic Payroll In Southeast Asia". Fintech Singapore (in Nederlands). Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  11. Guinto, Joel (18 Sep 2017). "iPhone X's next rival may be born with help from black swans". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  12. "Huawei C.F.O. Is Arrested in Canada for Extradition to the U.S." The New York Times. 5 Dec 2018. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  13. "Canada arrests Huawei CFO. She faces US extradition for allegedly violating Iran sanctions". CNBC. Reuters with CNBC. 5 Dec 2018. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  14. "Huawei Executive Gets New Bail Term: Staying in a $16 Million Home". The New York Times. 8 May 2019. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  15. "Huawei executive to fight extradition to the US on charges of bank, wire fraud". ABC News. 8 May 2019. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  16. Sybrandy, Hendrik (9 May 2019). "Huawei CFO's next court date scheduled for September". CGTN America. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  17. "Huawei executive makes statement on extradition of CFO Meng Wanzhou". Global News. 6 Jun 2019. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  18. Smart, Amy (6 Jun 2019). "Extradition hearing for Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou set for early next year". CTVNews. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  19. "Huawei executive makes statement on extradition of CFO Meng Wanzhou". Global News. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  20. Kotyk, Alyse; Molko, David (24 Sep 2019). "Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou returns to Vancouver court for document hearing". British Columbia. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  21. Warburton, Moira (21 Nov 2019). "Huawei asks Canadian court to stay extradition process for CFO to United States". U.S. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  22. Coletta, Amanda (20 Jan 2020). "Huawei executive, facing extradition to the United States, argues the allegations aren't crimes in Canada". Washington Post. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  23. Pearson, Natalie Obiko (20 Jan 2020). "Huawei CFO's defence team says U.S. fraud charges are a 'facade'". BNN. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  24. Zhao, Christina (4 Nov 2020). "Huawei's Canada Mask Donations Cause Bipartisan Concern in Washington". Newsweek. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  25. "Extradition of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei CFO, Clears Major Hurdle". The New York Times. 27 May 2020. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.
  26. "Top Huawei executive suffers US extradition blow". BBC News. 27 May 2020. Retrieved 2 Jun 2020.

External links

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