Huawei heiress returns to China after deal with US in fraud case

© Provided by The South African

Meng Wanzhou, heiress to the Huawei tech empire touched down in China on Friday, after managing to secure a deal with prosecutors in the United States (US) in an extradition saga that has no doubt fuelled tensions between both countries.

Wanzhou was detained in Canada on fraud charges in December 2018 at the request of the US.

The US accused Wanzhou of violating trade sanctions on Iran by not disclosing the true nature of Huawei’s relationship with a company called Skycom, which sold equipment to Iran, in order to get the bank to process the company’s financial transactions.

Huawei executive speaks out after release

Hours before Meng Wanzhou boarded her flight to China, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) said it had reached a deferred prosecution agreement, which means it would hold off on pursuing the charges against her until December 2022. The case would eventually be dropped if she complied with the conditions set by the court.

The Huawei CFO spoke to reporters in Ottawa and expressed her appreciation to Beijing for spearheading talks for her release.

“My life has been turned upside down. It was a disruptive time for me. Every cloud has a silver lining. I will never forget all the good wishes I received from people around the world,” Wanzhou said.

Meanwhile Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that two Canadian nationals who were arrested just days after Wanzhou’s arrest, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, have been freed from China.

They were arrested on espionage charges. According to state media, Spavor – who lived near the North Korean border and arranged cultural exchanges, was accused of supplying intelligence to Kovrig, a former diplomat turned analyst for the International Crisis Group.

“Canadians will be incredibly happy to know right now, this Friday night, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are on a plane and they’re coming home,” Trudeau said.

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