Reuters and the CBC first reported that Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou would appear in a Brooklyn federal courtroom today via streaming video and enter a plea regarding US charges against her. Canadian authorities arrested the Chinese executive in December 2018 on suspicion of violating US sanctions, and she has remained there on house arrest ever since, fighting US attempts at extradition. Hearings in her extradition case ended in August, with the ruling scheduled for October 21st.
The New York Times reports that during Meng’s appearance Friday afternoon, she pleaded not guilty to the charges against her.
The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that prosecutors will arrange to defer and later drop the charges in exchange for admitting some wrongdoing, however according to the NYT, that will not include entering a guilty plea. According to the Wall Street Journal, Justice Department officials under the Biden administration revisited negotiations that had broken down under President Trump. Its sources report that Huawei itself is not a part of the deal and will continue to fight its charges of fraud and trade secret theft.
Meng was indicted on fraud charges claiming the Chinese technology and telecommunications company misrepresented its relationship with an Iranian affiliate, along with accusations it stole intellectual property from T-Mobile.
Spokespeople for the US Attorney’s Office and Huawei have not commented publicly on the matter. According to the CBC sources, Meng will pay a fine as part of a plea deal, while Reuters says the agreement reached with US prosecutors will allow her to leave Canada and return to China. A former Canadian diplomat told the CBC he expects her release would lead to China deporting two Canadians it arrested and charged with espionage following Meng’s arrest.
Update September 24th, 2:30PM ET: Updated to add Meng’s court appearance and not guilty plea.