U.S. moves to dismiss charges against Huawei chief financial officer

U.S. moves to dismiss charges against Huawei chief financial officer

A giant screen on top of a Huawei store shows images of Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou while broadcasting a CCTV state media news bulletin outside a shopping mall in Beijing.

Reuters asked a judge to dismiss bank fraud and other charges against Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of China's Huawei Technologies whose arrest in 2018 strained relations between the U.S. and China.

Meng struck a deal with the prosecutors last year for the charges against her to be dismissed on December 1, 2022, four years from the date of her arrest in Canada on a U.S. warrant, as reported first by Reuters.

With no information Meng violated the deal, the government respectfully moves to dismiss the third superseding indictment in this case. Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Carolyn Pokorny wrote a Dec. 1 letter to U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly.

Huawei, a telecommunications equipment maker that the U.S. views as a national security threat, is still charged in the case, which is pending in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York. There is no trial date yet, and a status conference is scheduled for February 7th.

While Thursday's move was expected, it closes a chapter on the particularly fraught phase of U.S.-China relations, which has also thrust Canada into the middle of a wider conflict between the two superpowers.

Meng was accused of bank fraud and other crimes for misleading global bank HSBC Holdings Plc about its business in Iran to obtain banking services in violation of U.S. sanctions.

As part of her deal with a deferred prosecution agreement, she acknowledged that she had made false statements about the company's Iran business in a meeting with a bank executive in 2013.

Meng's statements were in a statement of facts that she agreed was accurate and voluntary and would not contradict.

The charges against Huawei range from bank fraud to sanctions busting, to conspiracy to steal trade secrets from U.S. technology companies and obstruct justice. It pleaded not guilty.

In the wake of its alleged activities, Huawei was added to a U.S. trade blacklist, restricting U.S. suppliers from doing business with the company.

The United States launched a global campaign against Huawei, warning that the Chinese government could use the company's equipment to spy on the Chinese government. A final rule was adopted by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission this week banning new telecommunications equipment from Huawei.

Meng, daughter of Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, now serves as the company's rotating chairwoman and deputy chairwoman, as well as its chief financial officer.

She flew to China from Canada on September 24, 2021, the day she struck the deal. Two Canadians arrested in China shortly after she was detained were released, and two American siblings who had been prevented from leaving China were allowed to fly home.

A lawyer for Meng declined comment and a spokesman for Huawei did not respond to a request for comment.