The Huawei DPA: A Prologue to the Global Arrest Game?

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New York University School of Law




On Sept. 24, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Meng Wanzhou, Chief Financial Officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, had entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) on charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bank fraud and wire fraud. In so doing, Meng admitted to making material misrepresentations to U.S. financial institutions about Huawei’s business activities in Iran. According to the terms of the DPA, DOJ agreed to withdraw its request for Meng’s extradition from Canada and recommend to the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) that the court release her on a personal recognizance bond, with the understanding that all charges will be dismissed in December 2022 if she does not commit any additional federal, state, or local crimes.

The development ends a “damaging” trilateral U.S.-China-Canada standoff at the intersection of U.S. criminal justice, foreign relations, and international law. The good news is that it cools a source of longstanding tension between the three countries. The bad news is what it may portend for the future of U.S. extraterritorial law enforcement policy, both at home and abroad.

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