Reports: Meng Wanzhou, U.S. officials resume talks on potential plea deal

Photo: Meng Wanzhou

Media reports indicate that Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. CFO Meng Wanzhou has resumed talks with the U.S. Department of Justice about a deal that would allow the Chinese tech executive to return to China.

The report, first released by the Globe and Mail, indicated that the deal would require Meng to plead guilty to charges of fraud and money laundering – charges on which she is being held in Canada since her arrest in Vancouver in December 2018. The deal would also include a heavy fine to be paid by Meng and Huawei, the report indicated.

Separate calls to federal, U.S. and Huawei officials have not yielded an immediate response.

Meng is awaiting an Oct. 21 case management hearing in her extradition hearings. On that date, B.C. Supreme Court associate chief justice Heather Holmes is expected to announce the date of her decision on final committal – or whether or not Meng would be extradited to the United States.

Media reports indicate Meng and the U.S. authorities have been in discussion for weeks. The reports also said that the deal may open new avenues for China to free Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, the two Canadians held by Chinese authorities on espionage charges since Meng’s arrest in 2018.

Meng continues to maintain her innocence in the case, alleging that U.S. authorities overstepped its jurisdiction in pursuing Meng in a case where the majority of the conduct takes place outside the United States.