Huawei Technologies Co. executive Meng Wanzhou and the U.S. Justice Department have reached a deal to resolve criminal charges against her.
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, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The agreement means Meng will not plead guilty. It’s still to be determined whether she will be allowed to go back to China. Dow Jones reported she will be able to return.
Prosecutors allege that Huawei and Meng lied to HSBC Holdings Plc about Huawei’s relationship with a third company that was doing business in Iran, as part of a scheme to violate U.S. trade sanctions on that country. Huawei has pleaded not guilty. Meng, Huawei’s chief financial officer, was arrested in December 2018 in Vancouver, where she has been fighting a U.S. extradition request.
John Marzulli, a spokesman for acting Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis, declined to comment on the Meng case. Officials at the U.S. Justice Department didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Reid Weingarten, Meng’s lead U.S. defense counsel, didn’t immediately return voicemail or email messages seeking comment, nor did Meng’s lawyers in Canada. Spokespeople for Huawei in Canada didn’t respond right away.
The potential resolution of the case comes just days after a Canadian election in which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced stiff criticism from the rival Conservatives over his handling of relations with China. In the days that followed Meng’s arrest in Vancouver, Beijing locked up two Canadians on national security charges. Trudeau’s incumbent Liberals won a third term, but the prime minister was unable to regain majority control of the legislature, and the continued detention of the two men remains a central foreign policy issue for his government.
Meng was accused of personally making a presentation in August 2013 to an executive of one of Huawei’s major banking partners in which she lied about the relationship between Huawei and the third company. Prosecutors raised the stakes last year by adding racketeering conspiracy charges against Huawei. The company pleaded not guilty to those charges as well.
Prosecutors and lawyers for Huawei have been locked in a battle over evidence since the case was unveiled in early 2019. The company recently lost a battle for more evidence from the government based on material that the U.S. filed in its extradition request for Meng in Canada.