Meng Wanzhou: US Prosecutors Reach Agreement in Case of Huawei Executive at Center of Diplomatic Dispute | Meng Wanzhou
Meng Wanzhou, the Huawei executive at the center of a three-way diplomatic row between China, the United States and Canada has reached a deal with U.S. prosecutors to resolve the bank fraud case against her, in a process that should allow her to leave Canada, where she has been placed under house arrest.
Meng is expected to appear virtually in a Friday afternoon hearing in Brooklyn federal court. She was arrested at Vancouver International Airport in December 2018 under a US warrant and charged with bank and wire fraud for allegedly misleading HSBC about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran.
The deferred prosecution agreement only concerns Meng and US charges remain against the company, according to another person familiar with the matter.
But such a resolution would eliminate one of the many major disputes between the world’s two largest economies. The deal could also pave the way for the release of two Canadians, businessman Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig, who are being held in China after their arrest shortly after Meng’s arrest in 2018. In August, a Chinese court convicted Spavor. to 11 years in prison for espionage.
A Huawei spokeswoman declined to comment. A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn declined to comment. An attorney for Meng could not immediately be reached for comment. Meng said she was innocent and fought against extradition from Canada to the United States. Meng is confined to Vancouver and monitored 24/7 by private security that she pays as part of her bail deal.
Under a deferral of prosecution agreement, the government agrees to refrain from prosecuting a defendant for a period of time, and abandons the case altogether if the defendant complies with the specified conditions.
Huawei, a telecommunications equipment giant, was placed on a U.S. commerce blacklist in 2019 that restricts sales to the company for activities contrary to national security and U.S. foreign policy interests. The restrictions hampered the company, which suffered its biggest drop in revenue in the first half of 2021, after U.S. supply restrictions pushed it to sell off some of its once-dominant handset business and before new ones. areas of growth have matured.
The criminal case against Meng – the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei – and Huawei is blacklisted. Huawei is accused of operating as a criminal enterprise, stealing trade secrets and defrauding financial institutions. He pleaded not guilty.