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Four years after Meng Wanzhou’s arrest, U.S. moves to drop remaining indictment

Move is part of deal that saw Meng released in 2021, ending three-year international standoff
Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, reads a statement outside B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. The U.S. Department of Justice is asking a New York judge to dismiss the remaining indictment against the Chinese tech executive. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The U.S. Department of Justice is asking a New York judge to dismiss the remaining indictment against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Four years to the day since the Chinese tech scion was arrested in Vancouver, U.S. prosecutors say Meng has abided by the terms of her deferred prosecution agreement.

The move is part of the deal that saw Meng released from custody in September 2021, ending a three-year international standoff that left lasting scars on the relationship between Canada and China.

Meng was originally detained in Vancouver in December 2018 at the behest of the U.S., where she faced charges related to American sanctions against Iran.

Two Canadian nationals, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, were arrested in China days later in an apparent act of retaliation.

Meng pleaded not guilty to all charges as part of the agreement, which included a statement of facts acknowledging that a business partner operating in Iran was essentially a wholly owned Huawei subsidiary.

U.S. attorney Carolyn Pokorny filed the request Thursday with New York Eastern District Judge Ann Donnelly.

“In the absence of information that (Meng) has violated any terms of the DPA through Dec. 1, 2022 … the government respectfully moves to dismiss the third superseding indictment in this case,” Pokorny writes.

A proposed order accompanying the motion will, once approved by Donnelly, dismiss the indictment “with prejudice,” which would prevent prosecutors from reopening the case.

Spavor and Kovrig, who came to be known around the world as “the two Michaels,” left China at almost the precise moment that Meng was being flown back to China.

China has long denied any link between the two cases, despite the timing of both the initial arrests as well as their eventual release.

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