More than four years after his arrest, Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou’s long legal saga officially ended this week. On Friday, U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly dismissed an indictment against Meng, according to Reuters. On behalf of the United States, Canadian authorities arrested Meng in 2018 for allegedly violating US sanctions on Iran. Meng, who is also the daughter of Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, spent the next three years fighting extradition attempts to the United States, where she faced up to 30 years in prison for charges of bank and electronic fraud. Donnelly dismissed the indictment “with bias,” meaning the Justice Department can no longer bring the same charges against Meng.
Before reaching a settlement with US prosecutors last year, Meng spent three years under house arrest. The detention strained relations between the United States and China and led to an international incident. China apprehended two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, days after Meng’s arrest. They were later released after Meng reached a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department. As part of the deal, she admitted to making false statements about Huawei’s activities in Iran. Meng returned to China the day Donnelly approved the pact.
Huawei and its subsidiaries still face charges in the United States. Most notably, the Justice Department recently announced charges against two Chinese spies who allegedly tried to interfere in a criminal investigation into the company. Earlier this week, the FCC also banned telecommunications and CCTV equipment from Huawei, among a handful of other Chinese companies. Meng is currently the company’s president and rotating vice president, as well as chief financial officer.
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