back to article Uncle Sam throws Huawei CFO a bone in her extradition fight, but deal will require an admission of wrongdoing

US prosecutors have reportedly offered Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou a deferred prosecution agreement. If accepted, the deal will have charges deferred and eventually dismissed, but will require Meng to admit to wrongdoing. Meng is under house arrest in Vancouver, Canada, where she owns two homes, awaiting extradition to the US. The …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "awaiting extradition to the US"

    Awaiting a decision on extradition to the US, surely?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "awaiting extradition to the US"

      If I remember correctly, the extradition was ordered already. Her lawyers are appealing. Again, I may be mis-remembering the situation.

      Twas quite the deal since El Cheeto caused a great deal of problems by spouting off (as per usual), and stoked the fires of the current Canadian/Chinese brouhaha.

      1. msobkow Silver badge

        Re: "awaiting extradition to the US"

        No, the courts are deciding whether she should be extradited here in Canada. It is most certainly NOT a done deal, though the Americans sure do act like it was, in their typically arrogant fashion.

        Canada is just caught in the middle of China vs. America's game of "King of the Hill."

  2. Shak

    Mixed messages

    Surely the USA should be encouraging the use of backdoored, spy-accessible telecoms equipment in Iran?

    1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

      Re: Mixed messages

      Surely the USA are encouraging the use of such equipment:

      Exemptions [to the US sanctions] exist for information technology products designed to support personal communications among Iranians (like mobile phones)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Irony Deficient - Re: Mixed messages

        So it is about money in vast quantities then.

        1. Yes Me Silver badge

          Re: @Irony Deficient - Mixed messages

          Of course it's about money. The whole trade war started by tRump is about money. Using dirty tricks against Huawei is about money. The lies about security issues are about money.

  3. thames Silver badge

    The recent court procedings have been rather interesting.

    You have to wonder if the timing of this is related to two events. One is that things have not been looking very good for the crown (who are prosecuting the extradition on behalf of the Americans) in court lately. Key police witnesses are contradicting one another, with one police sergeant suddenly retaining his own lawyer and refusing to testify and another reversing the testimony given in her previous affidavit. This is in relation to the abuse of process proceedings (i.e. the RCMP allegedly conspiring with the US FBI to illegally access information).

    The other thing that has come up recently is that now that Trump has lost the election, press reports have been suggesting that Ottawa will do a deal with new president Biden when he assumes power to get the US to drop charges against Meng personally, and to charge Huawei as a company instead. It is believed that Biden may be amenable to Ottawa's request in this instance in return for some other favour from Ottawa. Getting some sort of deal on this is a top priority in Ottawa so they can then go on to arranging the release of Spavour and Kovrig in China. This situation is probably second only to the pandemic in priorities in Ottawa.

    This recent rumoured offer from US prosecutors may be an effort to salvage something from this case while they still can in case either of the two above situations go against them.

    1. Barry Rueger

      Re: The recent court procedings have been rather interesting.

      Thanks thames for the great summary. I never thought that this case had any likelihood of succeeding. Weng can afford lawyers to the end of time, and honestly it was ludicrous to begin with.

      As a Canadian I am deeply embarrassed that the Trudeau government ever went along with this farce.

      Beyond the immediate, I also remain deeply sceptical that Huawei is any more or less honest or crafty than any other company, American or Chinese. What I do know is that their products are second to none.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Barry Rueger - Re: The recent court procedings have been rather interesting.

        Unfortunately the Canadian government is blissfully unaware of what their law enforcing agencies are doing. Which is rather scarry.

        Sad thing is Canada was made an accessory to creating one of the worst precedent in international relations which signals that it is OK for a country to kidnap a high-level executive and use him/her as a bargain for economic negotiations. In such a difficult situation, the Canadian PM showed he is not up to the task.

        Of course you can drape all this in moral clothing but underneath the naked truth is plain ugly to see.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Barry Rueger - The recent court procedings have been rather interesting.

          The thing is, the Canadian government and legal apparatus had their hands tied. Under various treaties, they had to act on the extradition request due to the double criminality mentioned in the article.

          What made it a right mess was when The Pumpkin said it was deliberately political. This put the gov in a hard place; they had their treaty requirements to fulfill, but the Bill of Rights meant they had to drop the case since it was not based in law.

          They chose limbo and have been hoping for a compromise like this ever since.

          1. Barry Rueger

            Re: @Barry Rueger - The recent court procedings have been rather interesting.

            The point is that an action like this does not go forward without ministerial approval. The Trudeau government's claims that their "hands were tied" are simply not true.

            They could have quietly told Trump "Sorry, but we won't do it," and accepted the inevitable temper tantrum.

            Beyond that it seems entirely likely that Weng visited the US several times a year on business. Why all the drama?

            1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

              Oh my God, I would have soo liked to see Trump go off on a warpath against Canada and try to justify economic sanctions on maple syrup.

              That would have been one bright light in a sea of sewage.

              1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

                sticky situations

                He did — Canada was one of the major targets of his steel and aluminum tariffs in 2018–2019.

                Since the US imports roughly half of Canadian maple syrup exports, and US maple syrup producers aren’t a particularly influential lot in Washington, maple syrup wouldn’t have been a likely target for a tariff. (Curiously enough, Canada is the largest importer of US maple syrup exports, but the net syrup flow is predominantly southbound.)

      2. thames Silver badge

        Re: The recent court procedings have been rather interesting.

        I wouldn't jump to any conclusions about the outcome at this point. The legal standard for extradition seems to be much lower than for an actual criminal case, so the judge could decide to ignore issues that might cause the case to be thrown out in a criminal trial and sweep any police misdeeds under the carpet.

        None the less, the American party requesting the extradition do not have reason to believe that everything is going their way on this.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The recent court procedings have been rather interesting.

      Uh oh.

      If this turns out to have been nothing more than a geopolitical play, a fancy fishing expedition, with Canada and Canadians as the fall guys, that's not exactly going to be good for US / Canadian relationships, at least not at the law enforcement level.

      If its not resolved with criminal charges that stick then effectively the whole thing will have been nothing but some US prosecutors bending a whole lot of rules merely to please Trump, with Canadian law enforcement types trusting them and doing them a favour. Now there's Canadian law enforcement employees retaining their own lawyers there is a possibility that some of them will go to jail, the Canadians detained in China will be suing their own government when they get home, and there won't be many in the RCMP willing to cooperate with the FBI.

      You can't dick about with proper process, especially in a case like this. Whatever treaties exist between the US and Canada will in part be built on trust that, for one part, the US authorities don't make stuff up or abuse the treaty relationship. This case may end up illustrating that that trust is misplaced. One of the repurcussions of Canadian citizens suing their own government for provoking their detention abroad with no real reason to do so will be a reevaluation of how trustworthy are their own and US authorities. They can do something about their own authorities, they cannot do anything about the US's except tighten up the treaty arrangements.

      If countries are going to enact geopolitical moves against Chinese interests by abusing their own and another country's legal processes, then they're just as bad as China or anywhere else where the rule of law is tenuous.

    3. Happytodiscuss

      Re: The recent court procedings have been rather interesting.

      ' Key police witnesses are contradicting one another, with one police sergeant suddenly retaining his own lawyer and refusing to testify and another reversing the testimony given in her previous affidavit.'

      The police sergeant who now works has head of security at a Chinese controlled Macau casino. Corruption possible? I would say yes.

      Meanwhile back at home Huawei in RPC has created an arms length arrangement with it handset division, in order to continue to to sell their phones globally if not their switching equipment.

      It needs to be resolved for all parties. Trump has caused significant damage to the extradition process objectively, and has cost Canada billions in exports through breahed contracts initiated by RPC, let alone imprisoning Spavor and Kovrig and holding them hostage.

      This has opened the eyes of Canadians and should serve, as it does, as accumulating evidence of China bullying alongside RPC recent banning of AUS goods.

      There are new trade realities in the world which are comprised of part fantasy, part marketing, and part America First. Spavor and Kovrig should be home in time to get their vaccines administered by local officials at the continuing pace.

      On a related note Canada is examining RPC investment/purchases especially those that involve the Canadian Arctic, putting at least a delay in place for RPC Belt and Ice Road initiative.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this the same HSBC that was fined nearly 2 billion dollars about 8 years ago for money laundering and "flouting" US sanctions ? I do believe it is.

    Rumour at the time was they came 'that close' to losing their US licence.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC - So they will be compelled

      to "cooperate" with US justice system.

  5. chivo243 Silver badge

    some option

    that bone is under a bus...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't remember DPA's with other executives ever requiring an 'admission of wrongdoing'. In fact, they are all explicity designed for the companies/people involved to pay a (usually 1% of the embezzled sum) penalty, with 'no admission of wrongdoing'.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The whole thing is ridiculous. It's a blackmail - allow us to add backdoor to your products or never see your granddaughter again.

  8. onemark03

    Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou

    The outcome of this case may depend to some extent on what the Chinese demand of or otherwise decide to do with the two Canadian hostages it is holding.

    Or Peking may choose to treat them as a separate matter, in which case Canada will still have problems - unless the US deigns to assist, as Canada was doing Uncle Sam a favour.

    This matter isn't over by a long chalk.

  9. msobkow Silver badge

    Neither the Americans nor the Chinese nor the Russians EVER admit they were wrong on the world stage. All three have egos bigger than the planet, and think they are above reproach by other nations.

    All this is is another member-waving contest. :(

  10. K

    "was controlled by a consortium of rather nasty characters"

    I'm all for a bit of politician bashing etc - But I find this rhetoric rather unbecoming of El Reg.

    Whilst Iran might not be the nicest place on earth, and they constantly want to "burn the west", most countries in the Middle East have far more distasteful governments and draconian policies (SA for example)...

    1. onemark03

      " ... a consortium of rather nasty characters"

      Of course there are other nasty countries in this world but Iran is no better.

      Does/Did it not thrown homosexuals off rooves or hang them from crane-booms?

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: " ... a consortium of rather nasty characters"

        @onemark03: I think the point being made is that Iran is singled out for special attention, whilst equally awful countries are ignored or fêted. Some, including me, think that is unfair.

  11. six_tymes

    whats wrong with them having backdoors in every product they make? I say let them use back doors again. they can look at my naked pics any time. just not my gf's

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