Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou expected to plead guilty today in U.S. court: sources

Chinese tech executive Meng Wanzhou is expected to appear virtually in an American federal courtroom today to plead guilty to the U.S. charges against her, say sources.

The Huawei Technologies chief financial officer will pay a fine as part of a plea deal, said the sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

Her court appearance was first reported by Reuters.

Sources said if the New York court accepts the deal, Canadian Crown attorneys will appear in a Vancouver court later today to stay extradition proceedings against Meng. She could be free of house arrest as early as today.

The U.S. District Court said Meng’s virtual appearance will be at 1 p.m. ET in a Brooklyn courtroom.

Today’s developments could mark a new phase in the strained relationship between the Canadian and Chinese governments.

The 49-year-old Meng was arrested at Vancouver’s airport on Dec. 1, 2018 on a U.S. extradition request on allegations that she lied to a Hong Kong banker in August 2013 about Huawei’s control of a subsidiary accused of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.

A few days later, Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig were detained in what is largely seen as an act of retaliation by Beijing against Canada.

Both men were charged with espionage. Spavor has been sentenced to 11 years in prison. Michael Kovrig has yet to be sentenced; his trial wrapped in March.

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