US agrees not to prosecute fraud charges against Huawei CFO
Reuters and the Radio-Canada First reported that Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou would appear today in a federal courtroom in Brooklyn via streaming video and argue in favor of the U.S. charges against her. Canadian authorities arrested the Chinese executive in December 2018 on suspicion of violating US sanctions, and she has been under house arrest ever since, battling US extradition attempts. Hearings in his extradition case ended in August, with judgment scheduled for October 21.
Meng has been charged with fraud charges that the Chinese tech and telecommunications company distorted its relationship with an Iranian subsidiary, as well as charges that it stole T-Mobile’s intellectual property. The 13 counts named Meng, Huawei and two of its subsidiaries – Huawei USA and Skycom.
On Friday afternoon, Meng pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors submitted a statement of facts (pdf) claiming that in 2013, she told financial institutions that Iranian company Skycom was a partner of Huawei despite knowing that Skycom was owned and controlled by a subsidiary of Huawei to act as an agent in the region.
As part of the deal reached for this confession, the prosecution said that “Meng accepted the accuracy of a four-page narrative that details the knowingly false statements she made to the financial institution. 1 “. They are withdrawing their extradition request from Canada, and until she commits other crimes, the charges will be dropped.
According to the Wall Street newspaper, Justice Department officials under the Biden administration reviewed the failed negotiations under President Trump. Its sources report that Huawei itself is not part of the deal and will continue to fight its accusations of fraud and theft of trade secrets. A Huawei spokesperson said in a statement, “We look forward to seeing Meng Wanzhou return home safely to reunite with her family. Huawei will continue to defend itself against the allegations in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York. “
On Saturday afternoon, Meng landed in Shenzhen where CNN reports that she was greeted by crowds on the tarmac, along with messages of support lighting up skyscrapers.
A former Canadian diplomat told the Radio-Canada he expected his release to lead China to deport two Canadians whom it arrested and accused of espionage following Meng’s arrest. Friday night, CNN reported confirmation from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the two men, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, had been released and on Saturday Trudeau tweeted photos after meeting them at an airport in Canada.
Welcome home, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. You have shown incredible strength, resilience and perseverance. Know that Canadians across the country will continue to be there for you, just as they have been. pic.twitter.com/1UoLbBFGNv
– Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) September 25, 2021
Updated September 24 at 3:24 p.m. ET: Updated to add Meng’s court appearance, not guilty plea, and details of the lawsuit agreement.
Updated September 24 at 4:14 p.m. ET: Updated to add details on plea and deferred prosecution agreement.
Updated September 26 at 5:46 p.m. ET: Added a statement from Huawei, as well as details on the returns of Meng Wanzhou, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.