Canadian extradition judge frees China’s Huawei exec Meng Wenzhou

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A Canadian judge on Friday ended extradition proceedings against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou and ordered her bail conditions lifted, effectively freeing her and bringing to a close a nearly three-year legal saga.

The decision by British Columbia Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes comes after Meng earlier reached a deferred prosecution agreement with the United States to avoid felony fraud charges.

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“I’ve signed the order of discharge,” Holmes said at the end of a short hearing in which Canadian government lawyers acting on behalf of the United States requested the stay of proceedings and removal of bail conditions.

Meng spent nearly three years under house arrest in Vancouver while fighting extradition to the United States to face fraud charges related to a Huawei subsidiary’s selling of equipment in Iran in violations of sanctions.

Outside the Vancouver courthouse, Meng thanked the judge, her supporters, Chinese officials and even the Canadian government for “upholding the rule of law.”

“Over the past three years, my life has been turned upside down,” she said in English. “It was (a) disruptive time for me as a mother, a wife and company executive.”

“But,” she added, “I believe every cloud has a silver lining. It really was an invaluable experience in my life... As the saying goes, the greater the difficulty, the greater the growth.”

Canada’s justice department, meanwhile, issued a statement confirming that Meng is now “free to leave Canada.”

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