The Justice Department has reached a deal that will allow Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou to return to China in exchange for admitting wrongdoing in a sanctions violation case, a person familiar with Friday said. the agreement.
Ms Meng, who has been detained in Canada since 2018, agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement, which was on file in a hearing in federal court in Brooklyn on Friday afternoon. She will admit to wrongdoing and federal prosecutors will defer and then drop the charges against her, the person said. As part of the deal, she will not plead guilty.
The case has become a symbol of the tumultuous relationship between two global superpowers, the United States and China, which is at its lowest level in decades. And that created a diplomatic challenge that put Canada in the middle.
Ms Meng’s release deal could signal a more conciliatory approach to Washington’s stance towards Beijing under the Biden administration.
Ms. Meng, who appeared by video conference for Friday’s hearing, pleaded not guilty to the charges against her.
Canadian authorities arrested Ms. Meng, 49, chief financial officer of the tech giant, in December 2018 at Vancouver International Airport, at the request of the United States. Ms. Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder and general manager Ren Zhengfei, instantly became one of the world’s most famous inmates.
In January 2019, the Justice Ministry indicted Ms. Meng and Huawei, the telecommunications company founded by her father, Ren Zhengfei. He accused the company and its chief financial officer of a ten-year effort to steal trade secrets, obstruct a criminal investigation and evade economic sanctions against Iran.
The charges highlighted the Trump administration’s efforts to link Huawei directly to the Chinese government, after long suspecting the company was working to advance Beijing’s economic and political ambitions and undermine U.S. interests.
Meng’s release could play into the fate of two Canadians imprisoned in China
China detained former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor soon after Ms Meng’s arrest in what was widely viewed in Canada as hostage diplomacy. China denied they were connected. In August, a court in northeast China, where Mr. Spavor lived, sentenced him to 11 years in prison after convicting him of espionage.
If both men are released, it could give Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a boost, who was re-elected this week with a minority government after calling an unpopular snap election. Mr. Trudeau’s inability to guarantee their freedom has cast a shadow over his tenure as prime minister.
Throughout her extradition hearing in Canada, Ms. Meng’s defense team proclaimed her innocence. They argued that President Donald J. Trump politicized his case and that his rights were violated when he was arrested in Vancouver.