Huawei Enters Not Guilty Plea Against US Charges

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Chinese firm responds in New York courtroom to US indictments of Iranian sanction busting and bank fraud

Chinese networking giant Huawei Technologies has pleaded not guilty in a New York federal court to a number of US charges.

Huawei, along with its CFO Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in early December by Canadian authorities, deny US indictments that they broke internationals sanctions against Iran and carried out bank and wire fraud.

Huawei earlier this month sued the US government over a ban on the use of its telecoms products, in efforts to push back against what it says are baseless US allegations against the firm.

Huawei

Not guilty

Wanzhou continues to fight against her extradition to the United States, and in the arraignment in US District Court in Brooklyn, James Cole, an American lawyer for Huawei, entered the not guilty plea on behalf of the company and its US subsidiary, Reuters reported.

Essentially, the United States is accusing both Wanzhou and Huawei of conspiring to defraud HSBC and other banks by misrepresenting Huawei’s relationship with Skycom Tech Co Ltd, a suspected front company that operated in Iran.

Huawei has always said that Skycom was a local business partner, but the US believes it was an unofficial subsidiary used to conceal Huawei’s business in Iran.

Assistant US Attorney David Kessler speaking in court also revealed that prosecutors are in the process of serving Skycom with the charges.

The next step will be another courtroom appearance on 4 April.

Huawei campaign

Earlier this month the US Secretary of State warned US would not be able to operate in environments where Huawei equipment is used.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the blunt assessment whilst speaking during a visit to Manila about the prospect of the Philippines using Huawei 5G technology.

The United States is conducting an intense campaign to persuade allies not to use Huawei kit.

Countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the United States have already banned the use of Huawei kit for 5G networks.

Huawei for its part, has always denied the US charges of state spying and sanctions busting, and alleged they are politically motivated, as part of US pressure against Chinese interests.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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