Meng reaches agreement with US prosecutors, returns home

Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou waves at a cheering crowd as she steps out of a charter plane at Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport in Shenzhen, South China’s Guangdong province, Sept 25, 2021. (XINHUA)

BEIJING – A charter flight organized by the Chinese government carrying Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of China’s telecommunication giant Huawei, arrived at the Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport in South China on Saturday night.

READ MORE: Lessons of Meng’s political abduction must be heeded

It is the first time for Meng to return to China since her arrest at Vancouver’s international airport at the behest of US authorities on Dec 1, 2018.

Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, my home country is becoming stronger and more prosperous day by day. Without a strong nation, I would not be free as I am today.

 Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s CFO

After the Chinese government’s unremitting efforts, Meng left Canada on Sept 24 local time to return to China. She shared her thoughts and expressed her appreciation on the flight. 

“It is pitch dark outside. I am in the sky over the Arctic, heading home,” Meng said in comments widely circulating in Chinese social media earlier on Saturday. “I will soon return to the embrace of the motherland.”

“Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, my home country is becoming stronger and more prosperous day by day. Without a strong motherland, I won’t have my freedom today,” she said.

“We live in a peaceful time and were born in a great country,” Meng said, adding that as she grew up during the era of reform and opening-up, she had witnessed and experienced the great transformation made possible by the Chinese people under the Party’s leadership.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou talks to media at British Columbia Supreme Court after her extradition hearing ended in her favor, in Vancouver British Columbia, Canada on Sept 24, 2021.

Meng described the motherland, the Party and the government as the shining light that has lit up “the darkest moments” of her life and led her on the long journey home.

Meng also expressed gratitude to her family, colleagues and every well-wisher. “Despite all twists and turns, this returning journey is the sweetest journey home,” she said.  

Meng has been arbitrarily detained for more than 1,000 days in Canada.

In a virtual hearing in New York on Friday afternoon, Meng pleaded not guilty to all charges against her and reached a deferred prosecution agreement with US prosecutors.

ALSO READ: China urges Canada to release Meng Wanzhou

According to the agreement, US prosecutors agreed to defer Meng’s prosecution until Dec 1, 2022.

The US Department of Justice will dismiss the indictment against Meng as well as the underlying charging instruments against her as long as Meng remains in full compliance with her obligations under the agreement for the deferred period, according to the agreement.

An Air China flight carrying Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada Sept 24, 2021. (XINHUA)

Meng also agreed to a statement of facts as part of the agreement.

“Under the terms of this agreement, Ms Meng will not be prosecuted further in the United States and the extradition proceedings in Canada will be terminated,” said William W. Taylor, III, counsel to Meng and partner with law firm Zuckerman Spaeder in a statement on Friday.

This screengrab taken from Xinhua live broadcast shows the plane carrying Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou arriving at Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport on Sept 25, 2021.

“She has not pleaded guilty and we fully expect the indictment will be dismissed with prejudice after fourteen months,” the lawyer stressed.

“This Deferred Prosecution Agreement will lead to the end of the ongoing extradition proceedings in Canada, which otherwise could have continued for many months, if not years,” stated Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark J. Lesko for the US Justice Department’s National Security Division.

ALSO READ: Meng’s extradition hearings end, verdict to take months

Meng was arrested by Canadian authorities at the request of the US in December 2018. 

She was accused of misrepresenting Huawei’s relationship with Skycom in a PowerPoint presentation to the HSBC bank in 2013 and putting the bank at risk of violating US sanctions against Iran. Meng and Huawei repeatedly denied the accusation.

Source link