Huawei Executive Meng Wanzhou Is Set to Be Released
Ms. Meng will return to China in exchange for admitting some wrongdoing in a sanctions violation case, a person familiar with the deal said.
The Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou is set to be released.
Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei, leaving home in August to attend an extradition hearing in Vancouver.Credit…Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press
The Justice Department has reached an agreement that will allow Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, to return to China in exchange for admitting some wrongdoing in a sanctions violation case, a person familiar with the deal said on Friday.
Ms. Meng, who has been detained in Canada since 2018, has agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement that is expected to be entered in federal court in Brooklyn on Friday afternoon.
Ms. Meng will ad-mit to some wrong-do-ing, and federal prosecutors will defer and then ultimately drop the charges against her, the person said. -As part of the agreement, she will not enter a guilty plea.
The Canadian authorities arrested Ms. Meng, 49, the technology giant’s chief financial officer, in December 2018 at Vancouver International Airport, at the request of the United States. Ms. Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder and chief executive, Ren Zhengfei, instantly became one of the world’s most famous detainees.
The Justice Department indicted Ms. Meng and Huawei, the telecom company founded by her father, Ren Zhengfei, in January 2018. It accused the firm and its chief financial officer of a decade-long effort to steal trade secrets, obstruct a criminal investigation and evade economic sanctions on Iran.
The charges underscored efforts by the Trump administration to directly link Huawei with the Chinese government, after long suspecting that the company worked to advance Beijing’s economic and political ambitions and undermine American interests.
Her arrest had thrust Canada into the middle of a battle between two global superpowers.
The deal to release Ms. Meng could signal a more conciliatory approach in Washington’s stance toward Beijing under the Biden administration.
If it leads to the release of two Canadians imprisoned in China, it could also provide a lift to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, who was re-elected this week with a minority government after calling an unpopular snap election. Mr. Trudeau’s inability to secure the freedom of the Canadians has cast a shadow over his premiership.
China detained the two imprisoned Canadians, the former diplomat Michael Kovrig and the businessman Michael Spavor, soon after Ms. Meng’s arrest, in what has been widely viewed in Canada as hostage diplomacy. In August, a court in northeastern China, where Mr. Spavor has lived, sentenced him to 11 years in prison after declaring him guilty of spying.