Huawei executive reaches plea deal in US court: report

·1-min read
Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou (c) reportedly has reached a plea deal to resolve US fraud allegations against her (AFP/Don MacKinnon)

The chief financial officer of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei is expected to enter a plea deal in New York court Friday to resolve US charges that saw her detained in Canada for nearly three years, US media reported Friday.

The Wall Street Journal said Meng Wanzhou would plead guilty to minor charges while the main allegations of fraud, related to alleged sales to Iran by a Huawei affiliate, would be dropped.

The deal would allow Meng to return to China without facing US jail time, the Journal said.

After fighting extradition from Canada since her arrest there on a US request in December 2018, Meng was scheduled to appear by video conference in federal court in Brooklyn, New York at 1 pm (1700 GMT) Friday afternoon.

The Department of Justice did not respond to queries on the reported deal.

The case added to the deepening division between Beijing and Washington and caught Canada in the middle.

The United States, which has campaigned against Huawei as selling phones that allegedly would allow the Chinese government to spy on Americans, accused Meng, a top Huawei executive and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, of fraud involving a closely related company's sanctions-breaking dealings with Iran.

Days after her arrest in Vancouver, China detained two Canadians, businessman Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig, accusing them of espionage.

Both were tried in March, and in August Spavor was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

No decision has been announced in Kovrig's case.

Western nations have accused China of "hostage diplomacy" for arresting and charging the Canadians.

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