World Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou reaches agreement with US to resolve fraud charges
Huawei Executive Meng Wanzhou Could Return to China After Reaching Deal With DOJ
The Justice Department submitted a letter saying it would address "a resolution of the charges against the defendant in this matter" at a hearing.Meng, Huawei's chief financial officer and daughter of the company's founder, has reached a resolution known as a deferred prosecution. In the deal, a defendant must agree to abide by certain conditions in exchange for the Justice Department ultimately dropping the case.
Huawei CFOand the US Department of Justice on Friday entered an agreement to defer prosecution of US charges against her until late 2022, after which point the charges could be dropped.
The deal, which allowed Meng to return to China, could bring to an end a nearly three-year legal saga that hasbetween the United States, China and Canada.
Huawei executive held in Canada to walk free after DOJ agrees to defer prosecution
A top Huawei executive will soon walk free in Canada and be able to return to China after the Biden Justice Department agreed to enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Chinese military-linked company and acquiesced to ending the United States’s extradition request. © Provided by Washington Examiner Meng Wanzhou was arrested by Canadian authorities in December 2018 at the request of the U.S., indicted in the Eastern District of New York in January 2019, and charged with bank fraud and wire fraud as well as conspiracy to commit both, but she will soon walk free and return to China.
Meng left Canada Friday on a flight for China chartered by the Chinese government, state-run news agency Xinhua reported.
Following her release, two Canadians detained by China for nearly three years were also freed, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.
The US case centered on whether Meng, who is also the daughter of, misled HSBC about Huawei's relationship with an Iranian subsidiary, Skycom, which the US alleges could have put the bank at risk of sanctions violations.
Meng appeared virtually in a court in Brooklyn, New York, and pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and wire fraud.
However, as part of the deal, Meng confirmed that the statement of facts in the deferred prosecution agreement are true. Those facts include that she misrepresented Huawei's relationship with Skycom to HSBC, according to court documents. If she says or implies otherwise, it could violate the terms of the deal and result in her prosecution.
Huawei CFO flying back to China after deal with US prosecutors
Years-long extradition drama has been a central source of discord in increasingly rocky ties between US and China.A person familiar with the matter told the Reuters news agency that Meng was flying back to China on Friday night.
"In entering into the deferred prosecution agreement, Meng has taken responsibility for her principal role in perpetrating a scheme to defraud a global financial institution," Acting US Attorney Boeckmann said in a statement Friday.
The statement of facts Meng admits to could contribute to the United States' ongoing case against Huawei. (Huawei declined to comment for this story.)
Assistant US Attorney David Kessler told the court that the parties had entered into a deferred prosecution agreement until December 1, 2022. If Meng complies with the provisions of the agreement, the US government will dismiss the charges against her on that date.
District Judge Ann Donnelly accepted the deferred prosecution agreement during the Friday hearing.
Huawei and Meng's team previously denied the US allegations, saying that HSBC executives knew of Huawei's relationships with Skycom. They have also claimed that the US case — which was filed amid former President Donald Trump's trade war with China — was politically motivated.
Opinion: Canada has big decisions to make on China
Michael Bociurkiw writes that even if Michael Spavor and Robert Schellenberg, Canadian citizens recently sentenced by the Chinese government, are being used as leverage for Beijing to get Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou from Canada, the North American country must take a firm stance toward China.Meng is wanted by the United States on multiple serious charges, including bank fraud and violating US sanctions against Iran by selling telecom equipment. She was arrested in late 2018. Meng and Huawei have denied the allegations.
Meng was arrested in December 2018 at the Vancouver airport at the behest of the US government. She has been livingin her multimillion-dollar homes in the city as proceedings to extradite her to stand trial in the United States work their way through Canadian courts. Meng's team has also opposed extradition; their arguments include claims that Meng's rights were violated during her arrest at the airport.
The plea agreement allows for her release on a personal recognizance bond, and the DOJ plans to withdraw its request for Meng's extradition from Canada, Kessler said.
The extradition proceedings have been nearing their end. Last month,and Canadian Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes said she would announce the date for her ruling on whether Meng should be extradited in a court appearance on October 21.
The Justice Department reportedly offered a resolution last year to the standoff that ensnared Canada over the US charges against her.
Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau said Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor boarded a plane headed for Canada at about 7:30 p.m. ET Friday night and would land in Canada sometime Saturday.
Former diplomathad been held in China since late 2018. They were arrested on espionage charges in China shortly after Meng's arrest in Canada. However, China has consistently denied that the cases were in any way connected.
Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Meng Wanzhou was expected to plead guilty to US charges. She pleaded not guilty, but as part of the deferred prosecution agreement she admitted to a series of facts, including that she misrepresented Huawei's relationship with Skycom to HSBC.
Biden's Cave to Xi on Huawei's Meng Is a Calamitous Sellout | Opinion .
The appeasement in Meng's case will now also invite further aggression. It is just one more disaster on an issue of vital significance, portending far worse.Ben Weingarten is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, fellow at the Claremont Institute and senior contributor to The Federalist. He is the author of American Ingrate: Ilhan Omar and the Progressive-Islamist Takeover of the Democratic Party (Bombardier, 2020). Ben is the founder and CEO of ChangeUp Media LLC, a media consulting and production company. Subscribe to his newsletter at bit.