TNB News Notes posted Thursday, via The Hill, that the US Justice Department announced “the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei pleaded not guilty in federal court Thursday to attempting to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile,” adding that “a federal judge in Seattle for March 2, 2020 over the charges against the two entities, Huawei Device Co., Ltd. and Huawei Device USA Inc.”
The company had been indicted in January as the Justice Department was also bringing charges against Huawei for allegedly violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.
T-Mobile has alleged that Huawei tried to steal information about a proprietary software called “Tappy” which is used to test phones before they hit the market by imitating human fingers.The Hill
On Friday, according to CTV News Vancouver, three months after Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou arrest on December 1, 2018 during a flight change in Vancouver at the request of the US government, that “Canada has formally started the extradition process,” saying that, according to Canada’s Department of Justice statement, “the decision followed a “thorough and diligent review” of the evidence” and they were “satisfied that requirements had been met” for the case to move forward to go before an extradition judge.
The hearing is considered only a first step and formality according to Canada’s laws that allows the judge to hear the case.
Under the Extradition Act, the government must review alleged conduct and determine whether a conviction would result in a jail sentence of at least one year, had it happened in Canada. The allegations must also be considered to have “dual criminality” – meaning the actions are considered criminal in both the U.S. and Canada.CTV News
The Washington Post reported that on January 29 the US Justice Department announced a 13-count indictment was filed in New York City detailing “allegations of bank and wire fraud … violating sanctions on Iran and conspiring to obstruct justice related to the investigation.”
FBI Director Christopher Wray said during a press conference announcing the charges that “firms like Huawei ‘pose a dual threat to both our economic and national security, and the magnitude of these charges make clear just how seriously the FBI takes this threat.”
The indictment threatened to further strain relations between Washington and Beijing as officials from both countries prepare for talks this week aimed at ending a months-long economic impasse that has contributed to huge swings in the stock market. Although President Trump had suggested he was willing to help secure Meng’s release if China met his demands for a trade deal, Justice and Commerce department officials insisted Meng’s criminal case was a separate matter.Washington Post
China claims Meng’s arrest was political. Not long after she was arrested, two Canadians in China were arrested on vague security charges that are widely seen as retaliation. A Canadian convicted of drug smuggling was later resentenced to death in a hasty, one-day trial.Washington Post
Meng faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted on all charges.