Canadians released after Huawei CFO resolves US charges

New York, Sep 25 (AP):
Two Canadians detained in China on spying charges were released from prison and flown out of the country, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, just after a top executive of Chinese communications giant Huawei Technologies reached a deal with the US Justice Department over fraud charges and flew to China.
The frenetic chain of events involving the global powers brought an abrupt end to legal and geopolitical wrangling that for the past three years has roiled relations between Washington, Beijing and Ottawa.
The three-way deal enabled China and Canada to each bring home their own detained citizens while the US wrapped up a criminal case against a prominent tech executive that for months had been mired in an extradition fight. The first activity when Meng Wanzhou, 49, Huawei’s chief finance officer and the daughter of the company’s founder, reached an agreement with federal prosecutors that called for fraud charges against her to be dismissed next year and allowed for her to return to China immediately.
As part of the deal, known as a deferred prosecution agreement, she accepted responsibility for misrepresenting the company’s business dealings in Iran. About an hour after Meng’s plane left Canada for China, Trudeau revealed that Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were also on their way home.
The men were arrested in China in December 2018, shortly after Canada arrested Meng on a US extradition request. Many countries labelled China’s action hostage politics.
“These two men have been through an unbelievably difficult ordeal. For the past 1,000 days, they have shown strength, perseverance and grace and we are all inspired by that, Trudeau said. The deal was reached as President Joe Biden and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have sought to tamp down signs of public tension – even as the world’s two dominant economies are at odds on issues as diverse as cybersecurity, climate change, human rights and trade and tariffs. Biden said in an address before the UN General Assembly earlier this week that he had no intention of starting a new Cold War, while Xi told world leaders that disputes among countries need to be handled through dialogue and cooperation.
The US Government stands with the international community in welcoming the decision by People’s Republic of China authorities to release Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig after more than two-and-a-half years of arbitrary detention. We are pleased that they are returning home to Canada, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. As part of the deal with Meng, which was disclosed in federal court in Brooklyn, the Justice Department agreed to dismiss the fraud charges against her in December 2022 – exactly four years after her arrest – provided that she complies with certain conditions, including not contesting any of the government’s factual allegations.
The Justice Department also agreed to drop its request that Meng be extradited to the US, which she had vigorously challenged, ending a process that prosecutors said could have persisted for months.

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