Huawei pleads not guilty in Iran sanctions case: Report

The trial is set for April 4.
Written by Campbell Kwan, Contributor

Huawei pleaded not guilty in New York on Thursday to federal chargesthat the company violated US sanctions by misrepresenting its business dealings in Iran to at least four banks, according to a Bloomberg report.

In a 13-count indictment unsealed on January 28, prosecutors allege that Huawei and its associates, including CFO Meng Wanzhou, had concealed the company's relationship with Iranian company Skycom from 2007 onward. 

According to the United States, this allowed Huawei to obtain embargoed US goods, operate illegally in Iran, and launder money via the international banking system, with charges being filed for bank fraud, wire fraud, and various counts of conspiracy.

Huawei earlier this month pleaded not guilty to separate federal charges that it allegedly stole trade secrets from T-Mobile.

Meng, who is charged in the case, is currently on bail in Vancouver as she awaits trial for her extradition to the United States. She was arrested in December by Canadian authorities at the request of the United States. In response to her arrest, Meng has sued Canadian authorities for allegedly being detained, searched, and interrogated unjustly before her arrest. The extradition trial is set for May 8.

At the same time, Huawei is suing the United States, claiming that its ban through the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is unconstitutional.

"The US government has long branded Huawei a threat. It has hacked our servers and stolen our emails and source code," Guo Ping said. "Despite this, the US government has never provided any evidence supporting their accusations that Huawei poses a cybersecurity threat.

Huawei's next court date for the US-Iran sanction charges will be April 4.

US warnings prompt Germany to have further talks on Huawei

Following the Trump administration earlier this week reportedly warning Germany that it would share less intelligence if Huawei's technology is used to build out Germany's 5G mobile networks, a German government spokeswoman said on Thursday the country will have further discussions on its stance towards the Chinese networking giant, Reuters said.

Government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer reportedly said at a news conference that Germany wants to ensure its telecommunications infrastructure has the highest security standards.

German ministers discussed in February the possibility of a Huawei 5G ban, according to Reuters, after Chancellor Angela Merkel set conditions for the company's participation in new mobile networks.

The conditions reportedly require guarantees from the company that it would not hand over information to the Chinese government.

The February discussions about a potential Huawei 5G ban followed reports at the end of last year that the Five Eyes alliance -- between the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand -- was passing classified information on Chinese foreign interference to Germany, as well as Japan.

"I am not going to list concrete discussions we are having, but we are in close contact with our intelligence partners, and that naturally includes the United States," Demmer said.

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