More than four years after her arrest, the drawn-out legal saga of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou came to a formal end this week. On Friday, US District Judge Ann Donnelly dismissed an indictment against Meng, according to Reuters. On behalf of the US, Canadian authorities arrested Meng in 2018 for allegedly violating American sanctions against Iran. Meng, who is also the daughter of Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, spent the next three years fighting attempts to extradite her to the US, where she faced up to 30 years in prison for bank and wire fraud charges. Donnelly dismissed the indictment “with prejudice,” meaning the Justice Department can’t bring the same charges against Meng again.
Before entering into an agreement with US prosecutors last year, Meng spent three years under house arrest. The detainment strained relationships between the United States and China and led to an international incident. China apprehended two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, within days of Meng’s arrest. They were later released after Meng entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department. As part of the agreement, she acknowledged having made false statements about Huawei’s business in Iran. Meng flew home to China the day Donnelly approved the pact.
Huawei and its subsidiaries are still facing charges in the US. Most notably, the Justice Department recently announced charges against two Chinese spies who had allegedly tried to interfere in a criminal investigation into the company. Earlier this week, the FCC also banned telecom and video surveillance equipment from Huawei, among a handful of other Chinese companies. Meng currently serves as the company’s rotating chairperson and deputy chairwoman, as well as CFO.