Dhe financial director Meng Wanzhou of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei is at large: Canadian judge Heather Holmes ended the extradition proceedings against Meng at a brief hearing in Vancouver on Friday and ordered the release of her detention conditions. Meng had previously reached an agreement with the US judiciary, and she can now return to China after almost three years.
Meng has been stuck in Canada since the end of 2018. The US authorities now want to withdraw the application for extradition to the USA. Prosecutors said that the proceedings will initially be put on hold and later discontinued if Meng adheres to the terms of the agreement. Meng undertook on Friday, among other things, not to contradict the representation of individual facts by the US side. You are in a multi-page “fact-finding” that was initially not made public. Before that, Meng declared himself innocent again in court. The deadline for which the proceedings will be suspended runs until December 1, 2022, it said at the hearing.
The Huawei CFO and daughter of the company’s founder Ren Zhengfei was arrested in December 2018 at the instigation of the American authorities in Vancouver, Canada. America’s government accused her, among other things, of circumventing sanctions against Iran.
Meng defends himself in the lengthy process against extradition to the USA. She had always protested her innocence and accused the authorities of violating her rights when she was arrested. She also declared herself innocent in court on Friday.
In Beijing, the process was described as part of the then US President Donald Trump’s trade war with China.
The case has ramifications for international relations beyond Huawei. Shortly after Meng was arrested, China arrested two Canadian businessmen. In August one of them was found guilty of espionage and obtaining state secrets and sentenced to 11 years in prison. Canada sentenced the prison term.
Relations between the Beijing and Ottawa governments have generally been tense since Meng’s arrest. For example, China has imposed import restrictions on rapeseed oil and other products from Canada. At least three Canadian drug smugglers have also been sentenced to death in the People’s Republic.
Specifically, Meng was accused of misrepresenting the relationship between Huawei and technology company Skycom in a presentation for the UK bank HSBC in 2013, which put the bank in danger of violating US sanctions against Iran. Huawei and Meng deny that. Earlier talks about an agreement with the prosecutors failed, according to American media reports, among other things because Meng did not want to admit any wrongdoing.