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Saturday, February 4, 2023

US Judge dismisses indictment against Huawei CFO Meng

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Washington: A United States District Judge dismissed an indictment against Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co, putting an end to a criminal sanctions case that has been straining US-China relations.

Meng struck a deal with the prosecutors last year for the charges against her to be dismissed on December 1, 2022, which is four years from the date of her arrest at a Vancouver airport.

“It is hereby ordered that the third superseding indictment in the above-captioned matter as to the defendant Wanzhou Meng is hereby dismissed with prejudice,” Judge Ann Donnelly wrote in an order signed and issued on Friday.

As part of her deferred prosecution agreement, Meng admitted that she had made false statements about the company’s Iran business in a 2013 meeting with executives.

Meng had been accused of bank fraud and other crimes for misleading HSBC holdings and other banks about Huawei’s relationship with a company that operated in Iran. Prosecutors claimed that Meng’s actions put banks at risk of incurring penalties for processing transactions in violation of US sanctions.

Huawei, a telecommunications equipment maker the United States views as a national security threat, is still charged in the case, which is pending in US District court. The charges include obstructing justice, conspiracy to steal trade secrets from US technology companies, and bank fraud. Huawei has pleaded not guilty.

On November 25, the Biden Administration banned approvals of new telecommunications equipment from Huawei and China’s ZTE Corp for the risks they pose to national security.

Beijing has long said the incident is an instance of political persecution against a Chinese citizen, and one designed to hobble the country’s high-tech companies.

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