Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou flew back to on Friday after reaching an agreement with US prosecutors to end the bank fraud case against her, easing the between China and the United States.

Within hours of the news of the transaction, two Canadians arrested shortly after Meng’s arrest in December 2018 were released from a Chinese prison and were on way back to Canada. Beijing denies that their arrests are connected.

The years-long extradition incident has been the main source of the increasingly unstable relationship between Beijing and Washington, and Chinese officials have stated that the case needs to be dropped to help end the diplomatic deadlock.

The deal also allowed US President Joe Biden to be criticized by Washington against the Chinese hawks, who believed that his government was surrendering to and one of the top companies in the center of global technological competition between the two countries.

Meng was arrested at Vancouver International Airport under a U.S. arrest warrant and charged with bank and wire fraud charges for allegedly misleading HSBC about the telecommunications equipment giant’s business transactions in Iran in 2013.

In an exclusive report on Friday, Reuters reported that the United States has reached an agreement with Meng to extend the prosecution.

Brooklyn’s acting U.S. attorney, Nicole Boeckmann, stated that when the agreement was reached, “Meng was already responsible for her main role in implementing a plan to defraud global financial institutions.”

The agreement is only related to Meng. The US Department of Justice stated that it is preparing to try Huawei and is looking forward to proving its case in court.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the release of Bangladesh or Canadians.

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A Huawei spokesperson declined to comment.

A person familiar with the matter said that Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, has left Canada for Shenzhen.

Two Canadians, businessman Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Cumming, were detained in for more than 1,000 days. In August, a Chinese court sentenced Spavor to 11 years in prison for espionage.

The International Crisis Organization, where Kovrig works, said it was “ecstatic” at the “most just decision” to release him, and thanked Canada and the United States for role. “The day we waited for 1,020 days has finally arrived,” the advocacy group said in a statement.

Late Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in a brief speech that the two had left Chinese airspace just a few minutes ago. He was not asked whether the two countries reached a bilateral agreement.

He said: “I want to thank our allies and partners who firmly support Canada and these two Canadians in the international community.”

At a hearing in the Federal Court of Brooklyn on Friday, Meng actually attended the hearing from Canada. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Kessler said that if she complies with all obligations under the agreement, the government will drop the charges against her. , The agreement will end in December 2022. He added that Meng will be released on personal guarantee and the United States plans to withdraw its extradition request against Canada.

Meng pleaded not guilty to the charges at the hearing. When U.S. District Court Judge Ann Donnelly later accepted the deferred prosecution agreement, Meng Wanzhou let out a sigh.

A Canadian judge later signed Meng’s release order, canceling her bail conditions and allowing her to be released under house arrest for nearly three years.

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After the judge gave the order, she was emotional, hugged and thanked her lawyer.

In subsequent speeches to supporters and reporters on the steps of the court, Meng thanked the judge for his “justice” and talked about how the case had “turned her life upside down.”

Meng Wanwan was confined to her expensive Vancouver home and monitored by private security that she paid as part of the bail agreement. Known as the “Huawei Princess” by the Chinese state media, she was required to wear an electronic anklet to monitor her movements, which became tabloid material when hung on her brand-name shoes.

“Huawei Confidential”
Reuters articles on Huawei, Hong Kong-registered companies Skycom and Meng published in 2012 and 2013 have a prominent position in criminal cases against her in the United States. According to Reuters, Skycom has proposed to sell at least 1.3 million euros (approximately Rs 112459 million) of embargoed Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to Iran’s largest phone operator in 2010.

Reuters also reported on numerous financial and personnel ties between Huawei and Skycom, including Meng who served as a member of Skycom’s board of directors from February 2008 to April 2009. These stories prompted HSBC to question Meng about Reuters’ findings.

Huawei was included in the U.S. trade blacklist in 2019, restricting sales to the company that violate the interests of U.S. national security and foreign policy. These restrictions put the company in trouble. The company suffered the largest revenue decline in the first half of 2021, after US supply constraints prompted the company to sell most of its once-dominant mobile phone business before new growth areas mature.

The blacklist cited criminal cases against Meng and Huawei. Huawei is accused of operating a criminal enterprise, stealing trade secrets and defrauding financial institutions. It has pleaded not guilty.

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A Canadian government official said that Ottawa will not comment until the US court proceedings are over.

vs. U.S.
Huawei has become a dirty word in Washington. Although Huawei is struggling under trade restrictions, the hawks in Congress quickly reacted to any news that might be interpreted as weakness in the United States.

Soon after Meng’s arrest, then-President Donald Trump told Reuters that he would intervene to politicize the case if it benefits national security or helps reach a trade agreement. Meng Wanzhou’s lawyer said that she was a pawn in the political struggle between the two superpowers.

The hardliners in the Republican Chinese Congress called Friday’s deal a “surrender.”

Republican Senator Tom Cotton said in a statement: “President Biden did not resolutely oppose China’s hostage-taking and extortion, but gave in.”

Senior U.S. officials stated that Meng’s case is handled by the Justice Department alone and that the case has nothing to do with the U.S.’s handling of tensions with China.

During US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman’s visit to in July, Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Feng insisted that the US abandon the extradition case against Bangladesh.

U.S. officials admitted that Beijing had linked Meng’s case to the two detained Canadians, but insisted that Washington would not treat them as bargaining chips.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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