Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhu arrived at the British Columbia Supreme Court on August 4, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada with his security details for the afternoon session of his extradition hearing.
Don McKinnon | AFP | Getty Images
The chief financial officer of Chinese tech firm Huawei will be released after reaching an agreement with the U.S. government on fraud charges and will be allowed to return to China, prosecutors told federal court in Brooklyn, New York, on Friday.
A U.S. district judge has accepted a suspended prosecution agreement that will run until December 1, 2022. Under the agreement, the executive, Meng Wenzhou, confirmed the veracity of the statement of truth and agreed not to commit other offenses, or to prosecute the risk.
Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, was arrested in Canada in December 2017. The United States has demanded that he be extradited to Iran for allegedly violating US sanctions on a financial institution. The United States said Friday that it plans to withdraw its extradition request.
Chinese authorities arrested Canadian businessman Michael Spever and former diplomat Michael Covrig after Meng was arrested in 2018. Beijing has repeatedly denied that the cases are related to Meng, saying they are of a “completely different nature”.
Late Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the two had been released and were on their way home from China.
Meng was not convicted on Friday. As part of the deal, however, he “took on a key role in running a scheme to defraud a global financial institution,” said Nicole Bockman, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, in a statement.
According to Boekman, Meng admitted in a conversation with a senior executive at a financial institution that Huawei’s CFO had “misrepresented multiple elements” about the company’s business in Iran. The government has claimed that it did so in order to maintain Huawei’s business relationship with the company.
Boacman said the admission confirms the veracity of the original allegations against Meng. Media reports have linked Hong Kong-based HSBC to the case, although the bank has previously said the U.S. judiciary has confirmed it is not investigating the case.
“We look forward to seeing Ms. Meng return home safely to be reunited with her family. Huawei will continue to defend itself against the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York,” Huawei said in a statement.
A lawyer representing Meng said he was “satisfied” with the deal.
Attorney William W. W. Taylor said, “He did not plead guilty and we fully expect that the allegation will be dismissed biased after fourteen months.” “Now, she will be free to return to the country to stay with her family.”
At a news conference Friday evening, Trudeau said Covrig and Spever had “gone through an incredibly difficult test.” In August, China sentenced Spear to 11 years in prison for espionage. Coverig was not convicted before his release.
“Over the last thousand years, they have shown strength, perseverance, resilience and grace, and we have all been inspired by it,” said the Canadian Prime Minister.
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– CNBC’s Christine Wang and Daisy Cherry contributed to this report.