The US Department of Justice is discussing a deal with Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, that would allow her to return to China from Canada, where she was arrested two years ago on a US extradition warrant in return for admitting wrongdoing, according to the Wall Street Journal and Reuters news agency.
The criminal case relates to allegations that Meng, on behalf of Huawei, violated US sanctions against Iran and strained relations between China, Canada and the US.
Meng’s lawyers, charged with wire rope and bank fraud, have spoken with Justice Department officials in recent weeks about the possibility of reaching a « deferred prosecution agreement, » the Journal reported, citing with people familiar with the matter.
Negotiations between the two parties reportedly began a month ago after the US presidential election, another source told Reuters, but it is still unclear what type of agreement could be reached.
Under such an arrangement, which prosecutors typically make with corporations but rarely grant to individuals, Meng would have to admit some of the allegations made against them, but prosecutors would agree to possibly postpone the charges and later drop them, if she cooperates. said the people.
Meng has so far resisted the proposed deal and believes she did nothing wrong, the report reads.
She declined to comment through a Huawei spokesperson. A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment. Canadian officials did not immediately return requests for comment.
The Reuters source said the negotiations don’t appear to be part of a larger deal with Huawei, which was burdened with additional fees in February, including a conspiracy to steal trade secrets from six U.S. tech companies.
Meng was arrested in December 2018 for relocating planes in Vancouver, sparking a diplomatic dispute between China and Canada. She has been given bail and lives in her home in the western Canadian city while the extradition case is on trial.
Days after Meng’s arrest, two Canadians, businessman Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, a senior analyst for the International Crisis Group, were arrested in China. China, which did not have access to lawyers or family members, did not officially confirm its arrest until May 2019. She was prosecuted for espionage in June and has been found unrelated to Meng’s arrest.
The Trump administration has targeted Huawei’s business worldwide to thwart its ambitions to deliver next-generation 5G networks.
When the US pressured other countries to ban Huawei from their cellular networks, it feared that their equipment could be used by Beijing for spying. The company has repeatedly denied the allegation.
Meng is expected in the British Columbia Supreme Court on Monday as she battles extradition to the United States.
If admitted to wrongdoing, the Trump administration could win a delicate dispute with China and ease pressure on Canada, which is caught in the crossfire of the US-China trade war.
Chinese media and social media users condemned Meng’s arrest, but the Canadian Prime Minister denied the political interference.
Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have been detained in China for a year without seeing their families or lawyers.
Huawei CFO has been arrested on a US arrest warrant in a case where relations between China and North American countries are frayed.
Huawei, Finance, Chief Financial Officer, US Department of Justice, China
World News – CA – US discuss « deal » allowing Huawei CFO to return to China
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