Reports: Huawei CFO to appear in New York court on possible plea deal with global impacts

OTTAWA, Ont. — Senior Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou is expected to appear before U.S. and Canadian judges Friday in court developments with potential for major consequences well beyond North America.

The Chinese telecom giant’s chief financial officer is scheduled to appear by virtual link in a New York City courtroom and possibly, according to multiple media reports, before a Canadian judge. Reuters was the first to report that she is expected to reach a plea deal with U.S. prosecutors.

Canadian police arrested Meng in December 2018 at the Vancouver airport on a U.S. extradition warrant. She’s accused of fraud in the U.S. connected to her alleged violation of American sanctions on Iran.

Meng is scheduled to appear in the Brooklyn, N.Y., courtroom at 1 p.m. EDT.

CBC News reported that she is expected to plead guilty and pay a fine as part of a deal to defer charges. The details of that anticipated plea are unclear.

The report, citing unnamed sources, says if the New York court accepts the deal, Canadian prosecutors will appear in a Vancouver court later Friday to suspend extradition proceedings. The outlet says she could be freed from house arrest later in the day.

Her legal team and U.S. Department of Justice officials have held talks about a possible plea deal since last winter.

The court fight, which started with her arrest more than 1,000 days ago, has become a key component in the tensions between the West and Beijing.

Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, has denied wrongdoing and her case has angered Beijing.

And other individuals have been caught in the middle.

Nine days after her arrest, Chinese authorities arrested two Canadians — Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor — on espionage charges. Spavor was given an 11-year sentence and a court date for Kovrig’s verdict has yet to be set.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called their arrests “arbitrary” and has pushed for their release by rallying allies — including President Joe Biden. The president pledged earlier this year to work to free the men, known colloquially in Canada as the “Two Michaels.”

Biden and Trudeau discussed Kovrig and Spavor during a call this week.

The Globe and Mail reported that Meng’s plea agreement does not include a deal to free the two Michaels. It remains to be seen if Canada has its own understanding with China that could lead to their eventual release.

A few weeks after their arrests, a Chinese court toughened its sentence for another Canadian, Robert Schellenberg. The court changed his initial sentence of 15 years for drug trafficking to a death sentence.

The cases have damaged Chinese-Canadian diplomatic relations — and has long been Trudeau’s top foreign policy challenge.

Leah Nylen contributed to this report.

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OTTAWA, Ont. — Senior Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou is expected to appear before U.S. and Canadian judges Friday in court developments with potential for major consequences well beyond North America.

The Chinese telecom giant’s chief financial officer is scheduled to appear by virtual link in a New York City courtroom and possibly, according to multiple media reports, before a Canadian judge. Reuters was the first to report that she is expected to reach a plea deal with U.S. prosecutors.

Canadian police arrested Meng in December 2018 at the Vancouver airport on a U.S. extradition warrant. She’s accused of fraud in the U.S. connected to her alleged violation of American sanctions on Iran.

Meng is scheduled to appear in the Brooklyn, N.Y., courtroom at 1 p.m. EDT.

CBC News reported that she is expected to plead guilty and pay a fine as part of a deal to defer charges. The details of that anticipated plea are unclear.

The report, citing unnamed sources, says if the New York court accepts the deal, Canadian prosecutors will appear in a Vancouver court later Friday to suspend extradition proceedings. The outlet says she could be freed from house arrest later in the day.

Her legal team and U.S. Department of Justice officials have held talks about a possible plea deal since last winter.

The court fight, which started with her arrest more than 1,000 days ago, has become a key component in the tensions between the West and Beijing.

Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, has denied wrongdoing and her case has angered Beijing.

And other individuals have been caught in the middle.

Nine days after her arrest, Chinese authorities arrested two Canadians — Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor — on espionage charges. Spavor was given an 11-year sentence and a court date for Kovrig’s verdict has yet to be set.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called their arrests “arbitrary” and has pushed for their release by rallying allies — including President Joe Biden. The president pledged earlier this year to work to free the men, known colloquially in Canada as the “Two Michaels.”

Biden and Trudeau discussed Kovrig and Spavor during a call this week.

The Globe and Mail reported that Meng’s plea agreement does not include a deal to free the two Michaels. It remains to be seen if Canada has its own understanding with China that could lead to their eventual release.

A few weeks after their arrests, a Chinese court toughened its sentence for another Canadian, Robert Schellenberg. The court changed his initial sentence of 15 years for drug trafficking to a death sentence.

The cases have damaged Chinese-Canadian diplomatic relations — and has long been Trudeau’s top foreign policy challenge.

Leah Nylen contributed to this report.

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