Thursday, October 21

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou strikes deal with US prosecutors

expected to announce they have reached a deal with her [File: Jimmy Jeong/Bloomberg]

Huawei Technologies Co. executive Meng Wanzhou and the U.S. Justice Department have reached a deal to resolve criminal charges against her, a breakthrough in a case that raised tensions between China, Canada and the U.S.

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, told the U.S. judge presiding over Meng’s case that they will appear in court Friday afternoon to “address with this court a resolution of the charges against the defendant.” Meng is getting a deferred-prosecution agreement and is not expected to plead guilty, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The Huawei chief financial officer was arrested in Vancouver in December 2018 on charges of violating U.S. sanctions. Her detention sparked a diplomatic crisis and retaliatory trade measures by Beijing, which has called it a politically motivated attack on one of its chief technology champions. Meng has spent the last few years fighting extradition to the U.S. It’s not clear when she will be allowed to return to China.

China has frequently linked Meng’s case with that of jailed Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig. The two Michaels, as they are known in Canada, were detained in China within days of Meng’s arrest. If the deal with Meng is followed by a reciprocal agreement by Beijing to release them, it would represent a political win for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, just days after a national election in which he faced stiff criticism from the rival Conservatives over his handling of relations with Beijing.

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