Huawei Vows to Keep Fighting US Legal Claims After CFO Meng Wanzhou Freed in Canada
10:41 GMT 25.09.2021 (Updated: 13:24 GMT 25.09.2021)
© REUTERS / WOLFGANG RATTAYHuawei logo is seen during Munich Auto Show, IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich, Germany, September 8, 2021. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
© REUTERS / WOLFGANG RATTAY
Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada in December 2018 and only earned the chance to return to China on 24 September 2021 after reaching a deal to resolve charges against her in the US. The Department of Justice agreed to defer her prosecution until December and to drop an extradition request.
Chinese tech giant Huawei has stated that it will "defend itself" against all legal claims related to the company's alleged violation of US sanctions.
"Huawei will continue to defend itself against the allegations in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York", the firm said.
The tech giant delivered the statement as it welcomed Huawei's Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Meng Wanzhou, "returning home safely" and reuniting with her family. Wanzhou had been forced to remain in Canada under police surveillance for almost three years – ever since local authorities arrested her on an extradition request from the US.
© REUTERS / JENNIFER GAUTHIERHuawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou leaves her home to attend a court hearing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada December 7, 2020.
Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou leaves her home to attend a court hearing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada December 7, 2020.
© REUTERS / JENNIFER GAUTHIER
That request was only dropped on 24 September 2021 after Wanzhou reached a deal with the US Department of Justice. Some details of this agreement remain unclear, but Wanzhou pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud and conspiracy as she virtually attended a hearing at a federal court in Brooklyn.
The US, in turn, deferred her prosecution until December, effectively allowing her to leave Canada, which she did the same day. Usually, a deal to defer prosecution involves a defendant agreeing to certain conditions, but what they are in Wanzhou's case remain unknown at the moment.
China's Relations With US, Canada Take Hit Due to Case Against Huawei CFO
Washington accused Huawei's CFO of misleading a bank, the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), regarding Huawei no longer doing business with Iranian companies and thus circumventing American sanctions against the Islamic Republic. The US claims the tech giant continued to operate in the country and knowingly defrauded the bank about it. Wanzhou's lawyers insisted that the bank knew about the nature of the company's cooperation with Iran's Skycom.
Huawei, for its part, has repeatedly slammed the case as being politically driven and having nothing to do with violating proper business procedures. The case against Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei's founder, has been a thorn in the side of Sino-US ties for years alongside other conflicts troubling their bilateral relations. It also affected Beijing's relations with Canada. Soon after Wanzhou's arrest, China detained two Canadian nationals, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, on charges of espionage. However, both men were quietly released and returned to Canada the day after Wanzhou's return to China.