US judge dismisses charges against Huawei chief financial officer that strained ties with China

A US judge on Friday dismissed an indictment against Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co., ending a criminal sanctions saga that has strained US-China relations.

The arrest of Wanzhou in Canada in December 2018 sparked a global standoff between China and the US

Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou exits a vehicle in front of a hotel during a break from her extradition hearing in Vancouver on Monday, August 16, 2021. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP/AP Newsroom)

The telecoms executive was released after US prosecutors agreed that Wanzhou complied with the terms of their deferred prosecution agreement.

“It is hereby ordered that the third substitute charge in the above matter relating to defendant Wanzhou Meng be dismissed with prejudice,” District Judge Ann Donnelly said in a written decision.

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Prosecutors charged Wanzhou with bank fraud and other crimes for misleading HSBC Holdings Plc and other banks about Huawei’s relationship with a company operating in Iran.

They said Wanzhou’s actions put banks at risk of penalties for processing transactions that violated US sanctions.

Meng Wanzhou

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, flew back to China on Friday after reaching a deal with US prosecutors to end the bank fraud trial against her and defuse a point of tension between China and the United States. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP/AP Newsroom)

Huawei has pleaded not guilty to the related US criminal charges.

A Wanzhou attorney and her spokeswoman did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.

Wanzhou spent almost three years under house arrest in Canada after being arrested at a Vancouver airport.

She entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with US prosecutors in September 2021, in which she admitted to making false statements about Huawei’s Iran business – Skycom Tech Co Ltd.

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On the day Donnelly agreed to this arrangement, Wanzhou flew home to Shenzhen.

Their return was greeted by a flag-waving group of airline employees and broadcast live on state television.

Meng Wanzhou

This screenshot, taken from video released by China’s state broadcaster CCTV on September 25, 2021, shows Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou receiving flowers after arriving in Shenzhen, south China’s Guangdong province, following her release. (CCTV/AFP via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Wanzhou thanked the ruling Communist Party and Xi Jinping for supporting her during her more than 1,000 days of house arrest in Vancouver, where she owns two multimillion-dollar mansions.

“I have finally returned to the warm embrace of the motherland,” Wanzhou said. “As an ordinary Chinese citizen going through this difficult time, I have always felt the warmth and concern of the Party, the nation and the people.”

Shortly thereafter, China released two detained Canadians, and two American siblings who had been prevented from leaving the country were allowed to fly home.

Wanzhou, 50, now serves as Huawei’s rotating chair and vice chair, as well as CFO.

The United States still considers Huawei a national security threat.

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On Nov. 25, the Biden administration banned new telecommunications equipment from Huawei and China’s ZTE Corp. because they posed an “unacceptable risk” to national security.

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